With less than two weeks left for parties to form coalitions in the country’s 66 hung councils, the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) federal council chairperson, Helen Zille, says the party’s coalition negotiations are progressing smoothly and they hope to make “some constructive announcements” soon.
The DA, which came second in the major metros after last week’s local government elections, has been meeting with smaller parties in a bid to form coalition governments in the hung councils after it said it would not work with the ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Taking to social media on Tuesday, Zille gave an update on the DA’s coalition talks so far and confirmed that they had spoken to eight parties and community movements around the country.
“The process is detailed and painstaking towards signing formal coalition agreements in the near future. Thanks to all for constructive discussions,” Zille said on Twitter.
On Tuesday, the former DA leader met with the Namakwa Civic Movement (NCM) in the Nama Khoi Local Municipality in Springbok, Northern Cape.
Zille said there was an enormous amount of work ongoing behind the scenes as the DA tries to form a coalition with the NCM, which is the third-largest party in the municipality after receiving 20.84% of votes. The ANC got 42.01% of the votes while the DA received 30.07%.
Nelson Mandela Bay
The DA is also hoping to form a coalition in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, where the party’s Nqaba Bhanga has been mayor under a coalition government.
Following last week’s polls, the DA and the ANC are neck and neck with the number of votes they received. The DA got 39.92% of votes, the ANC 39.43% and the EFF 6.4%.
Zille said they had learned a lot from the coalitions that emerged after the 2016 local government elections, and they don’t want to repeat their mistakes.
She said the test for possible coalitions with other parties would be whether they support constitutionalism and the rule of law, non-racialism, the separation between party and state, and support a social market economy.
“If they do not subscribe to these values, they do not belong in a DA-led coalition. That is tough news for many of you, especially those who sacrificed so much time to stand in queues for so long [to vote].
“But in a democracy, the totality of the vote determines the outcome. And, for Nelson Mandela Bay, this does not bode too well,” she said.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe.