With political parties racing against time to form coalition governments in hung councils, leaders of various parties are expected to meet on Monday in Johannesburg to find common ground.
After the 1 November local government elections, there were 66 hung municipal councils throughout the country and parties now have until 23 November to form coalition governments or by-elections could be declared within 90 days, according to the Municipal Structures Act.
Who’s attending the meeting?
Monday’s meeting in Sandton has been convened by the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) and is expected to be attended by – among others – the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) John Steenhuisen, United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa and ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba.
According to an invitation issued by the FF Plus’ Corné Mulder, the ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have been excluded from the meeting. The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the Congress of the People (Cope) and the Patriotic Alliance (PA) have all received invites.
Topping the agenda at the meeting will be the fate of Gauteng’s three biggest metros – Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni.
In a bid to beat the 23 November deadline and govern their first municipality, the EFF has proposed a power-sharing deal that will see it take control of Tshwane, while the ANC retains Ekurhuleni and ActionSA governs the City of Johannesburg.
However, the Red Berets’ proposal was reportedly shot down by the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC), while ActionSA also rejected the deal.
Mashaba on Saturday said ActionSA’s senate, which met on Friday evening, had rejected the EFF’s coalition proposal because of the ANC’s involvement.
He said the EFF wanted to bring the ANC back in power through the backdoor, and his party would not agree to this.
“The proposal was given to us by the EFF, when we looked at it, unfortunately, it brings the ANC through the backdoor and we felt really uncomfortable.
“We had to put it to the senate last night and the senate unanimously said ‘no deal’ because we don’t want to be associated with the ANC,” Mashaba said.
Meanwhile, Mulder said the meeting was called for leaders to finalise the coalition talks in Gauteng’s three metros in order to institute stable and workable coalitions in place.
“We are all under pressure to find solutions and an agreement as councils are meeting in the coming days,” he said.
The FF Plus and the DA have made it clear on numerous occasions that they are not willing to enter into coalition talks with both the ANC and the EFF.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe