Opposition celebrate 100 days of working together in municipalities

2016-12-02 16:05

Cape Town – The coalition governments formed after the local government elections work because, despite challenges, the parties involved have a shared goal, they said.

That goal was prioritising service delivery to communities, at all levels, the leaders of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Congress of the People (Cope), African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), Democratic Alliance (DA), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) said on Thursday.

The political parties joined forces in multiple municipalities after the August 3 local government elections, and they believe the success of the coalitions could tip the scales in the 2019 national elections.

The coalitions were an ideal springboard for what will happen in the future, the IFP's Narend Singh said.

The parties were celebrating 100 days in office in municipalities including Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay, which were previously run by the ANC.

FF Plus leader Dr Pieter Groenewald said the coalitions worked because for the first time, "the electorate realised that because of the proportional electoral system, they can vote for any opposition party and your vote will still count against the ANC.


Narend Singh (IFP chief whip), Kenneth Meshoe (ACDP leader), Bantu Holomisa (UDM leader), Mmusi Maimane (DA leader), Mosiuoa Lekota (Cope leader) and Pieter Groenewald (FF Plus leader) at an their press conference. (Jan Gerber, Netwerk24)

Corruption-proof

They could vote for a party that shared their values and their vote would still count, he said.

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said the coalition would continue to be the most reliable collaboration of parties that was corruption-proof.

"Because these parties have agreed to monitor each other so they don't allow corruption amongst themselves. That's critical."

The objective of the coalitions, he said, was prioritising the servicing of communities and ensuring that the people of the country got maximum benefit from taxpayers' money.

"These elements make for this coalition not just to work, but it will educate the electorate to insist on maintaining this type of government in future. It guarantees them transparency, it guarantees them loyal, faithful service," Lekota said.

ACDP leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe said the success of the coalitions lay in that they, as a collective, believed that the country was more important that their individual parties.

As a result, he said, they were sure to give the very best possible they could.

"We have leaders who are committed, and we treat people who need service with respect," he said.

'Coalition government are the future'

However, the coalitions have not been without problems, the parties acknowledged.

"This co-operation now is an ideal springboard for what could happen in the future, and we will learn from it. We have our fair set of challenges, but I think we will be able to grow and learn how to deal with challenges," Singh said.

They were all committed to working towards 2019 and the "different picture in the face of South African politics", he said.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said they might not agree on some things, but they agreed on certain key issues.

"We may not agree on economic policy or many other things, but we do agree on certain things, like constitutionalism for example. We agree on the rule of law, on opposing corruption, and public money must be set aside for the people," Maimane said.

The coalitions were an opportunity to learn and improve, Maimane said.

The future of South African politics, he believed, would be about coalition governments.

Read more on:    da  |  ff plus  |  acdp  |  udm  |  cope  |  ifp  |  coalitions  |  politics

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