Coalition Fever: An Overview of the picture in the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and North West Provinces

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.

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 any 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. In my first post I looked at the situation in the Metros ->  Coalition Fever: An Overview of the Metro Picture and in this one I will look 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 possible coalitions in the Western and Northern Cape Provinces.

Note – Thanks to the IEC and Paul Berkowitz for the pictures used in this series of blog posts. Paul wrote an excellent summary on the coalition picture outside of the Metros which could be read here ->  Coalition politics: what’s possible outside of the metros .

FREE STATE PROVINCE

The only municipality in the Free State with a hung council is that of Metsimaholo.

METSIMAHOLO

The Metsimaholo Local Municipality is an administrative area in the Fezile Dabi District of the Free State province. Metsimaholo means ‘big water’ in Sesotho. The municipality was established in 2000 through the amalgamation of the then Sasolburg, Deneysville and Oranjeville Transitional Local Councils.

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  63.04%  45.08%  -17.96%
 DA  28.97%  35.22%  +6.25%
 EFF  – 17.87% +17.87 %

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 42
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 22
  • Seat allocation: ANC 19, DA 12, EFF 8, MCA 2, FF+ 1
  • Scenario: The ANC short 3 seats for a majority and the DA 10
  • Possible coalitions: The ANC could partner with the DA or EFF individually or together with the two smaller parties or just with the MCA (the Metsimaholo Community Association, a local party that might hold the balance of power) and FF+ who together holds 3 seats. The DA could form a coalition with the ANC or EFF but in the latter instance they will require the support of the one or both of the smaller parties.

CONCLUSION

I agree with Paul Berkowitz that the ANC has more options in Metsimaholo than the DA. A lot however depends on the decision of the MCA, a crucial partner in two of the possible coalitions. Looking at the latest news articles it seems that the MCA is not open to discussing coalitions with the ANC ->  Cold shoulder for ruling party

GAUTENG PROVINCE

Other than the three metros Mogale City is the only other municipality in Gauteng that will require a coalition. An ANC-led coalition is most likely, as the party only needs 1 more seat for a majority, while a coalition of minority parties requires the participation of every other party.

MOGALE CITY

Mogale City Local Municipality lies directly west and south of the City of Johannesburg and City of Tshwane Metropolitan areas respectively, and forms part of one of the three district municipalities that make up the peripheral areas of the Gauteng province. To the north, west and south it borders onto the Madibeng, Rustenburg and Rand West City Local Municipalities respectively. The northern part of Mogale City comprises the bulk of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Mogale City’s strongest functional urban linkage is with the City of Johannesburg. Krugersdorp and the greater Kagiso area.

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 60.36%  48.84% -11.52%
 DA  32.89% 34.88%  +1.99%
 EFF  –  11.65%  +11.65%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 77
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 39
  • Seat allocation: ANC 38 seats, DA 27, EFF 9,  FF+ 2, IFP 1
  • Scenario: The ANC short 1 seat and the DA 12.
  • Possible coalitions: The ANC only requires 1 seat and can therefore form a coalition with the DA or EFF or any of the two smaller parties. The DA will require the support of the EFF, FF+ and IFP to be able to form a majority.

CONCLUSION

Its likely that the ANC will be able to form a coalition as it requires the support of just one of the smaller parties.

NORTH WEST PROVINCE

There is only one municipality in need of a coalition in the North West province, but it’s a very important one. Rustenburg is the only contested municipality where the EFF is the ‘official opposition’. The roles of the Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) and the Botho Community Movement (BCM) will be important.

RUSTENBERG

Rustenburg Local Municipality is a Category B municipality situated within the Bojanala Platinum District Municipality in the North West province. Rustenburg is a large town situated at the foot of the Magaliesberg Mountain Range. Rustenburg (meaning ‘town of rest’ or ‘resting place’) was proclaimed a township in 1851. This large town is situated some 112km north-west and is a 90-minute drive from both Johannesburg and Pretoria.

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 71.88% 48.55%  -23.33%
 EFF 26.76% +26.76%
 DA 20.1% 16%  -4.1%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 89
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 45
  • Seat allocation:  ANC 43 seats, EFF 24, DA 14, F4SD 4,  AIC 1, FF+ 1, UDM 1, BCM 1
  • Scenario: The ANC short 2 seats for a majority and the EFF 21 seats.
  • Possible coalitions: The ANC can form a coalition with the EFF or DA or F4SD (a new party made up of disgruntled ANC councillors) or any two of the smaller parties who holds 1 seat each. The EFF will require the support of the DA & F4SD and three of the smaller parties that holds one seat each.

CONCLUSION

Although the ANC only requires 2 seats and the EFF 21, the outcome is close to call given the kingmaker role that can be played by the F4SD and BCM -> Little known party could be play kingmaker in Rustenburg & BCM will not compromise community in coalition talks .

Read also this -> EFF might lead coalition government in Rustenburg – Shivambu 

LIMPOPO PROVINCE

There are two municipalities in the Limpopo Province in need of a coalition namely Thabazimbi and Modimolle/Mookgopong.

THABAZIMBI

Thabazimbi Local Municipality is located within the Waterberg District Municipality in the south-western part of the Limpopo province, has Botswana as its international neighbour, and is a mere two-hour drive from Pretoria. Thabazimbi is known as ‘mountain of iron’, which is a Setswana name referring to the highly lucrative iron ore reef first discovered in the municipality in 1919.

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 62.71% 45.3% -17.4%
 DA 19.86% 22.21%  +2.35%
 EFF 20.24% +20.24%

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 23
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 12
  • Seat allocation: ANC 10 seats, EFF 5, DA 5, TRA 2,  FF+ 1
  • Scenario: The ANC short 2 seats and the EFF and DA 7.
  • Possible coalitions: The ANC could form a coalition with the EFF or DA or the TRA (Thabazimbi Residents Association). The EFF and DA can work together but then they will also have to get the cooperation of the TRA.

CONCLUSION

The TRA is the kingmakers in this municipality and depending on who they agree to work with (ANC or DA/EFF) is going to have the majority.

MODIMOLLE/MOOKGOPONG

Mookgopong/Modimolle Local Municipality is situated within the Waterberg District in the Limpopo province. It was established by the amalgamation of the Mookgopong and Modimolle Local Municipalities in August 2016. The municipality occupies a strategic position from the main markets of the country by being at the south entrance of the province. It enjoys easy access from the main national arteries, the N1 and R101.

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 Newly demarcated municipality 47.71% n/a
 DA Newly demarcated municipality 40.92%  n/a
 EFF Newly demarcated municipality 5.12% n/a

COALITION PICTURE

  • Total seats: 28
  • Minimum seats for a majority: 15
  • Seat allocation: ANC 13 seats, DA 7, EFF 6, FF+ 2
  • Scenario: The ANC short 2 seats for a majority, the DA 8 and the EFF 9.
  • Possible coalitions: The ANC could work with the DA or EFF or the FF+ who has the exact number of seats they require. The DA could form a coalition with the ANC or the EEF + the FF+.

CONCLUSION

The FF+ is the kingmakers in this municipality should the ANC decide not work with the DA or EFF.

THE NEXT BLOG POST

In the next post I will look at the situation in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.

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