The DA has once more retained its position as leading political party in the Western Cape with 58.22% followed by the ANC with 18.63%, whilst the EFF got 4.13% support from voters, coalition talks are on the table as 16 councils remain hung in the province.
The announcement comes after days of anxiously waiting whilst counting continued as ward slips were being submitted from voting stations.
The IEC’s Chief Electoral Commissioner, Glen Mashinini deemed the 2021 Local Government Elections Free and Fair.
“The role of the commission is to satisfy itself that the conditions for free and fair elections were met in all these elections. Amongst the factors which the commission must consider is first whether the electoral regulations, laws and agreed processes were followed”, said Mashinini.
A report from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) showed the overall national voter experience for 2021 Local Government Elections:
97% of voters found procedures easy
94% were satisfied with the process
96% satisfied with secrecy provided by the Independent Electoral Commission
96% of the voting environment was safe
95% found the experience of voting free and fair
93% were satisfied with COVID-19 voter safety protocols
Nationally, the ANC achieved a majority in 161 municipalities, followed by the DA with 16 municipalities and the Inkatha Freedom Party with 10 municipalities.
There’s been mounting questions concerning subtle coalition talks or what we call backdoor discussions which are already taking place even on social media platforms conversations are carrying on.
As bigger parties are still waiting, some parties are already piloting the joint partnerships in some municipalities.
Whilst reports about 12 hung councils were making the rounds, the Freedom Front Plus has secured votes from those councils, particularly in Oudtshoorn and Langeberg, sweeping 177 seats nationally, the party has taken away from DA’s traditional support base.
During a media briefing, Western Cape FF+ leader Corne Mulder said they were still waiting for the results as it will influence the discussions that can be established, “The coalition involves big metros, and the big metros will also play an important role in coalition talks or negotiation”, said Mulder.
The report suggests at least 1 in every 5 newly elected municipal councils will need a coalition.
The Dullah Omar Institute for Constitutional Law and Governance has compiled a report that states, “In a single-party government that controls an outright majority in the council, it is relatively easy to adopt and implement the agenda of the majority government. Whilst it makes easier for political parties to fulfill the policy priorities as reflected in their party manifesto, policies of single-party government are also easily replaced or amended if the political leadership changes”.
In this year’s Local Government Elections, the Patriotic Alliance (PA) has turned out to be a kingmaker for most political parties, securing 50 seats nationally.
The PA leader, Gayton Mackenzie said political parties have approached them and their response was of having to compromise their policies as a party.
“Many political parties have approached us, and we told them we are in no position of talking coalition politics and we told them what we stand for”, said McKenzie.
The ANC’s provincial interim committee in the Western Cape held its special meeting yesterday, after noting the DA lost its majority in less than 15 municipalities, they had previously won in 2016.
Western Cape ANC Provincial Spokesperson Sifiso Ntweni said the party has worn 12 new wards directly from the DA strongholds, which are Cederberg, Breede Valley, Knysna, Delft, and Oudtshoorn.
The ANC also mentioned that coalitions were possible in several hung councils such as Saldanha Bay, Kannaland, Cederberg, and Prince Albert.
The report further reiterates that coalition politics provide a different context of governance.
The coalition agenda must be determined through negotiations involving several political parties.
To settle, coalition parties are forced to accommodate diverse positions to reach policy consensus.
The question for South Africa is who will be willing to compromise their policies to fit the overall agenda for the next election? “As research shows that there is a link between an increase in the number of parties in a government (i.e coalition) and a decrease in the number of policy changes in successive elections”. – Report by Ziyanda Yono.