Council coalitions double

2012-01-31 14:11

Johannesburg - The number of local councils run by coalitions has almost doubled in the last two years, the SA Institute of Race Relations said on Tuesday.

In 2011 there were 278 councils in South Africa and of these, 43 were run by coalitions, according to data gathered from the Gaffney's Group.

The figure is up from 25 in 2009.

A council is run by a coalition if no single party wins more than 50% of the seats.

Since 2007 it had become more common for parties to fail to win a majority in councils, the SAIRR said.

The increase could be attributed to the decline of support for the Inkatha Freedom Party in KwaZulu-Natal, which lost 30 municipalities to the ANC and the National Freedom Party in the 2011 municipal election.

Last year's local government election left 19 hung municipalities in the province. The IFP controlled 28 local councils in 2009, but this number dropped to two in 2011.

Georgina Alexander, a researcher at the institute, said coalition-run councils might find it harder to reach consensus on key issues of municipal governance, and this might impede agreement on policy implementation.

But it could also result in better-considered policies and would avoid the domination of a single party, she said.

  • Rodger - 2012-01-31 14:50

    In KZN the coalition between the ANC and NFP is a slap in the face for the electorate. In broad terms , the electorate turned its back on the IFP. In many localities, the NFP is 'manned' by the very worst of the IFP and in many instances it is the NFP that is 'wagging' the ANC, thus perpetuating the very issues and practices that made the electorate turn against the IFP. The ANC's decision to form coalition local government's with the NFP is a slap in the face of the electorate.

      bernpm - 2012-01-31 16:10

      @Rodger: "....with the NFP is a slap in the face of the electorate." Why?? It all depends on the conditions for the coalition. @Article: "...19 hung municipalities in the province." This typical "hung" thing inherited from the British elections and desire for a "winner take all". Negotiating a coalition is more democratic by definition.

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