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ANC NWC holds crunch discussions over coalitions

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The ANC is holding crunch talks when the extended National Working Committee meets today after a bruising local government elections to discuss the issue of coalitions.

ANC head of policy Jeff Radebe (left), seen with ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe (right). Radebe will lead ANC delegation to discuss coalitions. Picture: African News Agency

Siyabonga Mkhwanazi

The ANC is holding crunch talks when the extended National Working Committee meets today after a bruising local government elections to discuss the issue of coalitions.

The party has already said it would get into coalitions with parties who agree with it.

The ANC shed massive support in the elections and lost key metros and municipalities.

Among the metros the ANC failed to win with an outright majority include eThekwini, Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni and Nelson Mandela Bay.

It managed to win Buffalo City.

However, the ruling party also lost some of the municipalities in Mpumalanga, North West, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.

The elections left the country with 66 hung municipalities.

This is an increase from 27 hung municipalities in the 2016 local government elections.

This would mean that the ANC would have to get into coalition with parties in these hung municipalities across the country.

ANC head of policy Jeff Radebe has been tasked to lead a team of party leaders to negotiate deals with other parties over coalitions.

“The ANC’s approach to coalitions remains based on principle, not expediency, and guided by the spirit, mandate and interests of the voters. We remain committed to building unity and fostering cooperation with formations committed to advance the building of truly non-racial, non-sexist and united developmental local government. Regrettably, recent experience with a number of coalitions has not been positive. Most of these coalitions, which were led by the opposition, have been untidy, messy and premised on gaining power as an end in itself.

“This has resulted in unstable and self-serving ‘marriages of inconvenience.’ To avoid this type of and administrative instability, the ANC will consider an approach with like-minded parties, including affirming the principle accepted in many countries, that the party that receives the most votes in a given election should be afforded the first opportunity to form a coalition government, thus mitigating against an unseemly scramble for power. This approach is in the interests of effective governance and is consistent with the principles of democracy and proportionality manifest in our Constitution. An extended ANC NWC will, by the end of this week, finalise its approach to coalitions and cooperation,” said the ANC.

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