Small parties score big

2011-05-28 19:01

Political minnow the Pan Africanist Congress and new kid on the block, the National Freedom Party (NFP), have emerged as ­winners in this week’s coalition ­government talks.

The PAC was awarded a mayoral position in one of the 13 hung ­municipalities in Western Cape. This will be the first time a PAC councillor is mayor. The ANC ­entered into a coalition with the PAC after failing to secure an outright majority in the Cederberg council. The ANC has five seats while the PAC has only one in the municipality. The DA won four and Cope one seat.

In KwaZulu-Natal, where there are 19 hung councils, the NFP is the kingmaker and is reportedly eyeing mayoral positions in councils like Nongoma and Zululand.

But party leader Zanele Magwaza-Msibi denied this. She said there was progress in its coalition government talks with the ANC. The talks were due to be finalised today or tomorrow.

In a dismal showing in KwaZulu-Natal the IFP won only two of the 61 municipalities in the province. The NFP walked away with one. All 19 of the hung councils were previously run by the IFP. The ANC stamped its authority on the province by bagging 39 municipalities.

The ANC also suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the DA in Western Cape. The ANC’s ­support in the province is at an ­all-time low. After managing to win only one (Beaufort West) of the province’s 30 municipalities, the ANC sought to redeem itself by forming as many coalition governments in the 13 hung councils as possible. It has concluded coalition deals with independent councillors, the National People’s Party and the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa.

So far the ANC has taken Cederberg and Kannaland. ANC Western Cape treasurer Fezile Calana claimed the party was poised to capture Hessequa, Oudtshoorn, Laingsburg, Matzikama and Cape Agulhas this coming week.

The DA is in the final stages of coalition negotiations with Cope, having won 16 out of the 30 councils.

The two parties have agreed to work hand-in-hand in Bitou, Witzenberg, Langeberg, Hessequa and Laingsburg municipalities. The DA has clinched a deal with the ACDP to run the Swellendam ­municipality. The ACDP councillor will be the council’s speaker.

DA federal council chairperson James Selfe said their talks were being hampered by some Cope councillors refusing to endorse the party leadership’s decision to join forces with the DA.

The DA-Cope coalition will also govern three councils (Hantam, Karoo Hoogland and Namakoi) in Northern Cape. The province had five hung councils.

ANC Northern Cape media head Monwabisi Nkompela said the ANC had successfully negotiated with an independent to govern Emthanjeni local municipality.

Ubuntu local municipality is now the only hung council, where both the DA-led coalition and the ANC control four seats each.

The impasse will be resolved by the tossing of a coin next week.

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