Cold shoulder for ruling party

ESTABLISHED political parties and civic organisations in the Metsimaholo Local Municipality in the Free State have given the ruling ANC the cold shoulder, turning down any possibility of forming a coalition to govern the municipality.

The ANC managed to clinch 45,08% of the overall votes (19 seats), but not enough to govern the municipality made up of Sasolburg, Oranjeville and Deneysville.

The DA got 28,97% (12 seats) and the Economic Freedom Fighters received 17,87% (eight seats), with the FF Plus receiving one seat.

A newly-established organisation called the Metsimaholo Community Association (MCA) snatched two seats with its 4,91% of the votes.

Wouter Wessels, FF Plus national election coordinator, confirmed his party has declined an offer by Premier Ace Magashule (ANC chairperson in the Free State) to form a coalition in the Metsimaholo Municipality. As things stand, he said, the ANC needs 22 seats to have the majority rule in the municipality.

Thabo Meeko, ANC Free State spokesperson, has denied that the party had already begun formal talks to form a coalition with opposition parties, adding, however, that “it was not unusual for such engagements to happen in politics”.

Wessels said the FF Plus will not empower the ANC by forming a coalition, because the ruling party has repeatedly failed to deliver basic services to the people.

“We have to serve our electorate,” Wessels explained.

Magashule is said to have also lobbied the MCA, hoping to use the civic movement’s two seats to retain majority rule in the Metsimaholo Municipality.

Sello Hlahla, MCA deputy secretary, said his organisation has heard rumours of the ANC’s intention to approach the entity to form a coalition.

Hlahla echoed Wessels sentiment, saying: “The ANC is an arrogant party that has failed to deliver services to the community of Metsimaholo. The sooner the ANC is out, the better. We will not work with corrupt officials.”

Hlahla said the organisation’s electo­rate have refused to go into a coalition with the ruling ANC in Metsimaholo.

He said they will meet other opposition parties to discuss possible formation of a coalition this week.

Mandisa Makhesini, EFF Free State secretary, said the party could consider a coalition with opposition parties in Metsimaholo.

“We will consider any coalition with any opposition parties, except the ANC,” she said.

Khotso Morapela, EFF Free State chairperson, said the party’s central command team was still discussing the formation of coalitions.

Patricia Kopane, DA leader in the Free State, said the party was in talks with the EFF in Pretoria to discuss a possible coalition in the Metsimaholo Municipality.

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