Western Cape gets first coalition deal after DA, FF+, residents association conclude agreement on Cederberg Municipality
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Cape Town – The Cederberg Municipality in the Western Cape has become the first hung council in the country where parties have entered into a coalition agreement.
The DA, Freedom Front Plus and Cederberg First Residents Association entered a deal, with DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille announcing it on social media.
The DA won in 2016, but lost to ANC in by-elections. Both the DA and FF Plus have been saying they are discussing coalitions in a number of municipalities.
After the polls the IEC announced that there were 15 hung councils in the Western Cape.
DA interim leader in the Western Cape Albert Fritz and FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald had confirmed discussions on coalitions in the province.
The ANC won four seats, Cederberg First Resident Association won three seats, the DA two and one each for the Patriotic Alliance and Freedom Front Plus.
Although the ANC was the majority party this time, it could not form a coalition with any of the other parties, as both the DA and Freedom Front Plus have publicly rejected them.
Instead, the DA concluded a coalition with the Cederberg First Residents Association and the Freedom Front Plus.
The Cederberg First Residents Association will take the mayorship, Freedom Front Plus deputy mayorship and the DA speakership when the inaugural meeting is held.
Freedom Front Plus head of elections, Wouter Wessels told Independent Media that the agreement was signed on Thursday after they held talks on Monday.
“Locally details were decided upon and finalised only yesterday,” he said.
Earlier today, DA federal chairperson Helen Zille took to Twitter on Friday to announce that they had an historic signing in a small Western Cape town on Thursday and that the successfully concluded coalition council would hold its inaugural meeting, without naming the municipality.
“I will leave it to them to announce who they are. I will merely say why this agreement is historic.”
Zille said it was the first coalition agreement in the country beyond the general "motherhood-and-apple-pie" statements of intent, and broad values.
“It is a detailed co-governance agreement, spelling out structures and systems for resolution of disputes.
“It incorporates our learnings from past coalitions, both the successes, and (especially) the failures, so that we anticipate some of the causes of coalition failure before they occur, and build in systems and structures to prevent coalition collapse,” she said.
Wessels hailed the coalition in Cederberg as something to the benefit of the local residents.
“It contains objectives of the government for the next five years to focus on service delivery, getting infrastructure and economic growth going in that municipality,” he said.
Wessels told Independent Media that his party had not yet reached agreement in other hung municipalities.
“We have not finalised any other. We reached consensus on broad agreements. There are details to be finalised,” he said.
Wessels said they were continuing with negotiations this weekend in order to reach consensus with the DA on other councils in the province.
“There are certain municipalities where the coalition is only us and the DA. In others we do need smaller parties,” he said.
He also said the situation was the same in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.