Coalition talks enter critical stage

2016-08-15 12:48
- United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa has gone on a charm offensive in Nelson Mandela Bay. (News24)

Johannesburg - Coalition talks in the four hung metros entered a second week on Monday, with no announcements yet as to which parties had reached agreements.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa, who has been helping to co-ordinate the efforts of smaller parties, including the Economic Freedom Fighters, would only reveal that talks had reached a "critical stage".

The four smaller parties, which also include the United Front and Cope, have listed the resignation of President Jacob Zuma as one of their conditions for co-operation with the African National Congress, but the ruling party's national executive committee did not raise this as a possibility at its recent meeting.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, on Sunday after the meeting, told journalists in Pretoria: "There was no proposal that the president step down."

The coalition talks follow after the August 3 local government elections resulted in 27 hung councils.

ANC battle for Nelson Mandela Bay

READ: How to form a coalition – tips for politicians

The EFF has scheduled a press briefing for Wednesday on coalitions, but it’s as yet unclear when the Democratic Alliance and the ANC will have their briefings on the issue.

While Ekurhuleni looks likely to be governed by the ANC - in coalition with the African Independent Congress, and with Mzwandile Masina as its mayor - a source on Monday said the DA’s deal with the EFF to govern in Tshwane was likely to stick and that Solly Msimanga would be elected mayor there later this week.

Msimanga last week addressed a "thank you" rally in Tshwane.

The City Press has reported that, in Johannesburg, the EFF and the DA have reached a co-operation agreement, while in Nelson Mandela Bay, the DA is likely to clinch a deal with the UDM and two smaller parties to get the extra four seats it needs to govern.

Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Danny Jordaan, however, hinted over the weekend that there was still a possibility that the ANC could pull off a coalition. A DA insider in the metro said this was unlikely.

Chairperson of the DA federal council James Selfe could not be reached for comment on Monday morning, but he told The Citizen that the DA’s view that it was possible to work with the EFF still stood.

He said an announcement following the DA’s coalition talks with the EFF could be expected this week. He could, however, not divulge details.

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