12 hung municipalities in KZN
Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal political landscape is set for some political horse trading with 12 municipalities recording no clear winners in the local government elections.
"Our own quick analysis indicates that there will be very interesting political developments," said KwaZulu-Natal Independent Electoral Commission chief Mawethu Mosery on Friday.
He said it was the highest number of hung municipalities since the start of democratic local government elections.
Nkandla, where African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma's homestead is located, was one of these.
In the Hlabisa Municipality in northern Zululand the IFP has four seats, and National Freedom Party and ANC two seats each. If the ANC and NFP form a coalition as predicted, there will still be no clear majority.
In many of the hung municipalities, the NFP was likely to be the key player in determining who controls the councils.
NFP leader Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi said her party had been approached by the ANC and IFP for possible coalitions in a number of municipalities.
The party was set to hold a meeting on the weekend to determine its position on possible coalitions.
ANC chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal Zweli Mkhize earlier told journalists that the ruling party was open to negotiations, but stressed that these had not begun as they were awaiting the final outcome of the election results.
“We will not name any party at the moment because we do not have a fixed decision at the moment,” said Mkhize.
Mosery told the media that the final election results would be announced on Saturday. Parties had until 17:00 on Friday to lodge objections on the elections.
He said the IEC had concluded audits for 49 of the province’s 61 municipalities.
Addressing reporters earlier, ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said his party in KwaZulu-Natal was on the verge of an "overwhelming" victory as parties waited for the last batch of elections results.
“We have retained all the municipalities we controlled before the elections and there are indications that an overwhelming victory is on the cards,” he said.
The ANC said it won 42 of the province's 61 municipalities. It did not, however, have outright majorities in a number of them.
“We have gained new municipalities which were previously held by the Inkatha Freedom Party.”
Zikalala attributed the ANC victory to the end of the so-called no-go areas - IFP strongholds which had existed since the first democratic elections in 1994.
Zikalala said the ANC had done well in both rural and urban areas.
“We have taken two hostels and the Lindelani area from the IFP.”
Mkhize said the ruling party had yet to finalise its new mayors.