Coalition in Nelson Mandela Bay imminent between major and smaller parties

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The election for a local government in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro was as close as predicted. The two big players each have 48 seats in the 120 seat council. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had a good showing increasing its seat allocation to 8 while the newcomers, the Northern Alliance clinched three seats.

Final results show that both the African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA) got just over 39% in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, while the EFF received 6,4% gaining two more seats in the council, giving them 8 seats.

No outright winner in NMB:

There will be 12 political parties represented in the Nelson Mandela Bay council. The Freedom Front Plus, ACDP, Defenders of the People, and the Patriotic Alliance will each have two seats while the Good Party, UDM, AIC, and AIM each will have one.

Now the process starts to establish a coalition government.

‘DA in discussion’

The DA managed to garner the most votes, by a very small margin. The party also lamented the low voter turnout. DA leader in the metro, Nqaba Bhanga plots the way forward.

“Let me say I want to thank the voters who came in numbers and voted for the Democratic Alliance and we might expect a majority in Nelson Mandela Bay because we wanted 50% plus now the voters have decided that we neck and neck with the ANC. The national leadership of the DA is currently discussing the option throughout SA on how government can be structured.”

DA Mayoral candidate Ngaba Banga:

‘Change of administration’

A Senior Research Specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council, Professor Joleen Steyn-Kotze, says residents from the Northern Areas have also shown they want a change of administration.

“The EFF definitely I think would be a key player because it is the third-largest party within the Metro. So you know when I think we start looking at that coalition dynamic, we’ve noted instability, political and administrative instability from the previous coalition. There was a lot of unhappiness around the narrative of the DA-led coalition. So I do think, you know, when the bigger party starts their negotiations, there are two factors that are going to be key. One is how you engage with the smaller parties and take them a lot more seriously than I believe was previously done and having local buy-in from local political actors when you hash out those national agreements.”

Northern Alliance not surprised

The Northern Alliance contested the local government elections for the first time. The party is full of praise for the residents in the northern areas, saying their vote tally, 2.1% of the metro’s vote, underlines their desire for service delivery. Party regional leader, Kerwin Stuurman, says they are not surprised.

“We actually targeted much more, we are quite happy with the fact that we are number four, our aim was to make sure that there is service delivery in the Northern Alliance areas with the position we are currently in, we are able to change the situation. We are chuffed about that, they’re quite a big hype, the support is happy they have a voice inside council now.”

EFF a key player 

The EFF regional secretary, Yazini Tetyana, says they are also not surprised by their strong showing.

“We are on upward mobility in the Eastern Cape, we are found in areas where we were not present before. If you go to Sarah Baartman, you can go to the district now, EFF has a blue crane, COEGA numbers have increased, you can go to Matatiele we have four councillors. We are happy generally you can count many of them, then EFF is on upward mobility.”

EFF happy with their growth in Nelson Mandela Bay:

‘ANC ready to work with any party’

The provincial leadership of the ANC in the Eastern Cape says the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the low voter turnout. The ANC says it’s ready to work with any party with strong principles to bring better services. ANC provincial spokesperson, Loyiso Magqashela, says there is more work to be done to convince residents to vote for ANC.

“We are more than happy as the ANC through, remember the determination and commitment were to win back the Nelson Mandela Bay metro however it did not work that way, be that as it may, we appreciate the results that we got, we appreciate the voters that have put their confidence in the ANC, we managed to work with other political parties is a coalition during the campaign.”

Coalition government expected again for the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro: