Johannesburg - UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said no small parties had been involved in coalition negotiations yet because for now, the bigger parties had to thrash things out.
Holomisa told News24 late on Monday that talks were "at a standstill" because parties were still having bilaterals.
"Parties are still meeting together as a group to analyse the implications of the results and the new mandate," he said.
"It has not yet taken shape... to get into detail, who are you going to work with and what you are offering. We are not yet in that space.
"There are still talks about talks and preconditions that other people are putting forward, and then those preconditions are returned back to the party structures. In other words, the ANC will go to the NEC, the UDM will go to their structures."
Holomisa said he was expecting progress "from Wednesday onwards".
He said the small parties would have to watch how the coalitions between the big three - the DA, the ANC and the EFF – worked out before getting involved in negotiations.
"I don't think the small parties have got choices. They know their limitations."
Holomisa – who has been one of the brains behind a project to get opposition parties to co-operate on issues in Parliament – posted on his Facebook page over the weekend that the ANC and the DA should team up to run municipalities because they "have been given a mandate".
He posted, "Why can't they seat together and implement the wishes of the voters like [former presidents FW] De Klerk & [Nelson] Mandela did under the Govt of National Unity? Such a step would also improve race relations in this country. Just a thought!"
His post had hundreds of comments and more than 5 600 likes, and nearly 2 000 shares.
Holomisa told News24: "We must be guided by a non-partisan approach. If we are going to play politics there would be no service delivery if coalitions fail".
He said South Africa had no experience of negotiating coalitions of this magnitude.
In Gauteng alone, three metros (Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni) and one council (Mogale City) are set to be run by coalition governments, while the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro looks set to be run by a DA-led coalition.