A week of intense negotiations to form coalitions saw the DA unveil a multi-party agreement which will result in it governing major metros like Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay.
The agreement – in which the parties committed to putting the people first by fast-tracking service delivery – was signed by four parties.
This includes the United Democratic Movement (UDM) Congress of the People (Cope), Freedom Front Plus (FF+) and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP).
DA leader Mmusi Maimane, flanked by leaders of the smaller parties, said the union at local government level was meant to put people first, ensure clean and transparent governance and bring about an integrated transport system.
On e-tolls, Maimane said all councillors where the DA governs have a mandate to fight it in councils, but admitted legislation could only be changed by national government.
The DA had – even before final results were announced by the Independent Electoral Commission – indicated that it would never form a coalition with the ANC as this would be a slap in the face of those who voted for change.
The same decision was made by the EFF although the party met the ANC national leadership which included secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and ANC NEC members Jeff Radebe and Andries Nel.
However, those discussions collapsed when the ANC refused to meet the EFF’s demands which included removing Jacob Zuma as president of the country.
It is not just the ANC that is eating humble pie. The DA also failed to clinch any deals with with the EFF due to ideological differences, but Malema said his party would be willing to vote for the DA in councils on condition that the budget was pro-poor.
Maimane has welcomed this support from the EFF.
The DA also had a reciprocal arrangement with the IFP.
DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe said the DA would help the IFP, led by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, to be the governing party in hung councils in KwaZulu-Natal and the IFP would return the favour.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said: “This has been one of the easiest negotiations I have been in. South Africans have rewarded the opposition.”
Talks were still ongoing to see if a DA-led coalition could be formed in Joburg and Ekurhuleni which the ANC was fighting to keep under its control.
Holomisa said since Zuma ascended to power, initiative had been with the opposition party and that the agreement with the DA marked another victory against the ANC as they move to reduce its power.
ACDP chairperson Jo-Ann Downs said a multiparty government could do better than the ANC.
“This is a whole new ball game. Hope for more coalitions in 2019 for a better life.”