South Africa: The Battle for the Heart of South Africa's Cities Is Only Just Beginning

opinion

The past week in South African local politics in some of the country's major cities has been exceedingly turbulent with major manoeuvres by the country's three main political parties. What follows is an attempt to explain a number of issues that have been misinterpreted or poorly reported in the media.

Coalitions

It is important to note that the Democratic Alliance (DA) was never in a formal coalition with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in either Tshwane or Johannesburg. The DA entered into formal coalition agreements with various minority parties, but never with the EFF.

The EFF was not represented in the political leadership of these cities, neither as Members of the Mayoral Committee (MMCs) nor as chairpersons of oversight committees. As such, the DA governed these two metropoles as a minority government. It had stronger representation in Tshwane than in Johannesburg, as in Tshwane the DA holds the greatest number of seats in council.

Where the DA did govern with a coalition of 51% of the total votes of council was in Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB). Here the DA was able to put together a multi-party coalition that excluded the ANC and EFF, a coalition that was ultimately undone by...

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