Ending political games: Coalition governments need rules – experts
Experts discuss the need for regulated coalition governance to prioritize service delivery over political interests.
ActionSA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson, Funzi Ngobeni speaks to The Citizen outside Council Chambers in Braamfontein in Johannesburg, 19 July 2023. Picture: Nigel Sibanda
Experts agreed that coalition governance has to be regulated to stop political parties from politicking and force them to focus on service delivery.
Yesterday the portfolio committee on co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta), e-Government, Research & Development hosted a roundtable discussion on the Future of Coalition Government in Gauteng Province where organisations such as the South African Local Government Association, Municipal IQ research, AfriForum, Socio-Economic Rights Institute, Cosatu and SA Municipal Workers’ Union could weigh in on the way forward for coalitions.
Cogta chair Fasiha Hassan said to those following the news, it was a bit of a running joke about who the mayor was today and who the mayor was tomorrow was.
“That’s why we wanted to host this round table because it might be funny in social spaces but it was not funny to the service delivery side of the story,” she said.
Cogta MEC Mzi Khumalo said recent research has indicated 10 out of 11 municipalities were hung, coalition governments.
Currently, the ANC led the City of Ekurhuleni, City of Joburg, Emfuleni, Lesedi, Merafong, Mogale City, Rand West and Sedibeng in coalition with other parties including the Economic Freedom Fighters and Patriotic Alliance while the City of Tshwane was under a Democratic Alliance coalition with the Freedom Front Plus, ActionSA, Congress of the People, African Christian Democratic Party and the Inkatha Freedom Party.
“The issue is the current coalition governments are hard to manage.
The matter of the motion of no confidence, if you look at them substantially, it’s about party interest politicking and not the interests of the people,” he said.
“We can’t allow this to continue. Some of us are very concerned if we don’t nip it in the bud we are breeding another form of state capture,” he said.
Khumalo said in hung municipalities, the executive mayor system suffered and couldn’t cope.
“There are various aspects of coalitions that need to be regulated to stabilise municipalities under coalition governance,” he said.
Political analyst Dr John Molepo said coalitions were going to be the future for South Africa for a while.
While the challenges of coalitions were being discussed, ActionSA Gauteng chair Funzi Ngobeni said ActionSA filed court papers to allow a motion of no confidence to take place in the City of Tshwane against Speaker Mncedi Ndzwanana after he dismissed two previous motions against him on frivolous grounds.
Ngobeni said Ndzwanana became speaker due to a dodgy EFFANC agreement to vote for small and minority parties in a bid to destabilise coalition governments ahead of the 2024 national and provincial elections when the ANC is likely to be removed.