Coalition Fever: An Overview of the Metro Picture

INTRODUCTION

Following the 2016 local elections, South Africa is gripped with coalition fever, with 27 municipalities having hung councils where no one political party has more than 50% of the allocated seats.

This scenario was foreseen by a number of political commentators as far back as March 2015. See for example Brave yourself for a new era of coalition politics & 2016: Big three parties and the big four battlegrounds .

Forming coalitions is an exercise in real politics ( politics or diplomacy based primarily on considerations of given circumstances and factors, rather than explicit ideological notions or moral and ethical premises) and its therefore dangerous to predict the outcome of coalition negotiations beforehand. Relying on what is speculated in the mainstream media is especially fraught with danger as evidenced in this article looking at what transpired in 2006 in Cape Town when parties were also faced with a hung council scenario Anatomy of a coalition coup: Are there lessons ahead of the August election?

In this series of blog posts I will nevertheless look at the possible coalitions in each of the 27 municipalities starting with the Metros, followed by a second posts looking at the situation in the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and North West Provinces, followed by a third post looking at KwaZulu-Natal and a last post looking at the Western and Northern Cape Provinces

Of the four Metros where coalitions will be required, three are in Gauteng – Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni and one in the Eastern Cape namely Nelson Mandela Bay.

CITY OF JOHANNESBURG

BACKGROUND

The City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality is located in the Gauteng province. Johannesburg is the most advanced commercial city in Africa and the engine room of the South African and regional economy. It is a city with a unique, African character, world-class infrastructure in the fields of telecommunications, transportation, water and power, and with globally-competitive health care and educational facilities. However, the city is also one of contrasts – home to both wealthy and poor, residents and refugees, global corporations and emerging enterprises.

The demographics of Johannesburg indicate a large and ethnically diverse metropolitan area. As the largest city in South Africa, its population is defined by a long history of local and international migration. Johannesburg is home to more than 4,4 million people, accounting for about 36% of Gauteng’s population and 8% of the national population.

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party

2011 % vote

2016 % vote % Shift
 ANC  58.56%  44.55%  -14.05%
 DA  34.62%  38.37%  +3.75%
 EFF  – 11.09% +11.09%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 270
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 136
  • Seat allocation: ANC 121 seats, DA 104, EFF 30 & other smaller parties 15 seats
  • Scenario: The ANC short 15 seats for a majority and the DA 32 seats
  • Possible coalitions: The ANC could partner with the DA,  EFF or alternatively it will have to look at all the smaller parties to join it in a coalition. These parties include the IFP, AIC, FF+, ACDP, COPE, PA and ALJAMA of which the IFP holds the most seats namely 5. The DA could partner with the EFF but will require 2 more seats from any of the smaller parties.

CONCLUSION

A DA (121 seats), EFF (30 seats) and IFP (5 seats) coalition looks like the most likely outcome however in the game of coalitions it can work out differently in the end.

See also -> Why the DA is likely to win the coalition war in Johannesburg

 

TSHWANE METRO

BACKGROUND

The City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality is situated in the Gauteng province and Pretoria is the capital of South Africa. It has merged with the Metsweding District, which was a consequence of the Gauteng Global City Region Strategy to reduce the number of municipalities in Gauteng to at least four by 2016. The new City of Tshwane is now the single-largest metropolitan municipality in the country, comprising seven regions, 105 wards and 210 councillors.

Pretoria has the second-largest number of embassies in the world after Washington DC. Many embassies thus call this city their home. The Union Buildings house the administrative hub of the country and have also been the setting for the presidential inaugurations of Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and the incumbent South African president, Jacob Zuma.

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party

2011 % vote

2016 % vote % Shift
 DA 38.65%  43.15% +4.5%
 ANC  55.32% 41.25%  -14.07%
 EFF  –  11.63%  +11.63%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 214
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 108
  • Seat allocation: DA 93 seats, ANC 89, EFF 25, FF+ 4 and 1 seat each for ACDP, COPE & PAC.
  • Scenario: The DA short 15 seats and the ANC 19.
  • Possible coalitions: The only available option for the ANC is a coalition with the DA or EFF. The DA’s options are also limited to either the ANC or EFF as the smaller parties combined have too few seats to make up a majority in the Metro.

CONCLUSION

In Tshwane, expect a DA and EFF and possibly also the smaller party coalition, with the DA bringing in the smaller parties to counterbalance the EFF but also given the need for a national strategic view.

EKURHULENI METRO

BACKGROUND

City of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality covers an extensive area from Germiston in the west to Springs and Nigel in the east. The former administrations of the nine towns in the former East Rand were amalgamated into the metropolitan municipality, along with the Khayalami Metropolitan Council and the Eastern Gauteng Services Council. It is one of the most densely populated areas in the province, and the country.

The economy in the region is larger and more diverse than that of many small countries in Africa. It accounts for nearly a quarter of Gauteng’s economy, which in turn contributes over a third of the national Gross Domestic Product. Many of the factories for production of goods and commodities are located in Ekurhuleni, often referred to as ‘Africa’s Workshop’.

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties are indicated in the table below:

Political Party

2011 % vote

2016 % vote % Shift
 ANC 61.63% 48.64%  -12.99%
 DA 30.29% 34.15% +3.86%
EFF 11.23%  +11.23%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 224
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 113
  • Seat allocation: ANC 109 seats, DA 77, EFF 25, AIC 4, IFP & FF+ 2 each followed by 1 each for the ACDP, PAC, PA, COPE & IRASA
  • Scenario: The ANC short 4 seats for a majority and the DA 36 seats.
  • Possible coalitions: The DA will have to work with the EFF and obtain at least 11 seats from the other 7 smaller parties who together holds 13 seats. The ANC shorts only 4 seats and can look at a coalition with the DA, EFF or more likely a combination of the smaller parties.

CONCLUSION

The most likely outcome is an ANC coalition with the smaller parties perhaps the AIC and/or IFP.

See also -> Coalition politics: A reality check

NELSON MANDELA BAY METRO

BACKGROUND

Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality is a Category A municipality, established on 5 December 2000. Nelson Mandela Bay was the first city in South Africa to establish a fully integrated democratic local authority and the only city in the world named after Nelson Mandela, who was born and spent his formative years in the Eastern Cape. Nelson Mandela Bay is a major seaport and automotive manufacturing centre located on the south-eastern coast of Africa. It is the economic powerhouse of the Eastern Cape province and one of six metropolitan areas in South Africa.

ELECTION RESULT AND VOTER SHIFTS

The 2016 election result is depicted in the picture above. The voter shift from the 2011 election for the three major parties is indicated in the table below:

Political Party

2011 % vote

2016 % vote % Shift
 DA 40.13% 47.71% +6.58%
 ANC 51.91% 40.92%  -10.99%
 EFF 5.12% +5.12%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 120
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 61
  • Seat allocation: DA 57 seats, ANC 50, EFF 6, UDM 2 and 1 seat each for AIC, PA, COPE, ACDP & UFEC
  • Scenario: The DA short 4 seats for a majority and the ANC 11.
  • Possible coalitions: The DA can enter into a coalition with the EFF or if it so chooses any combination of the smaller parties who together holds 7 seats to make up the shortfall of 4 seats. The ANC have no option but to court the DA or EFF as well as obtain 5 more seats from any combination of the smaller parties if they partner with the EFF.

CONCLUSION

The DA could work with only the smaller parties but a DA and EFF coalition is most likely given the national picture where the DA requires the support of the EFF in other hung council municipalities.

THE NEXT BLOG POST

In the next post I will look at the situation in the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and North West Provinces.

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4 responses to “Coalition Fever: An Overview of the Metro Picture

  1. Pingback: Coalition Fever: An Overview of the picture in the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and North West Provinces | 2 Sides 2 Everything

  2. Pingback: Coalition Fever: An Overview of the Picture in KwaZulu-Natal | 2 Sides 2 Everything

  3. Pingback: Coalition Fever: An Overview of the Picture in the Western and Northern Cape Provinces | 2 Sides 2 Everything

  4. Pingback: ANC biggest loser in 2016 coalition outcome, DA biggest winner but EFF still holds the keys | 2 Sides 2 Everything

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