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Hung councils, post-election issues take centre stage

With the 2016 Local Government Elections done and dusted, many outstanding issues are set to dominate local political landscape in the coming weeks.

 

Independent candidates in the Potchefstroom-based Tlokwe municipality in the North West are preparing to file a complaint with the Electoral Court against the IEC.

The EFF will also be calling the shots in many of the hung councils, including the Nelson Mandela Bay, City of Tshwane as well as the City of Johannesburg metro, as they have the power to decide who governs.

The ANC in the Western Cape says a special Provincial Executive Committee meeting will be on Monday in Cape Town.

The meeting is set to discuss a report on the Local Government Elections, coalitions in municipalities where no party has an outright majority and the way forward for the next five years.

In Tlokwe, independent candidates say some voters in Tlokwe were denied the right to vote in last week’s municipal elections as a result of the amalgamation of Tlokwe and Ventersdorp municipalities by the Municipal Demarcation Board.

The merger led to some wards and boundaries being changed.

The Independent Candidates in Tlokwe’s Spokesperson, David Kham, says they will be approaching the Electoral Court on the matter.

“We raised this matter prior to the elections and now during the elections it happened; people from Tlokwe had to go as far as Ventersdorp to go and cast their votes there. Some were denied access there. Even here, people had to cross boundaries to go and cast their vote. So, we are definitely going to be taking the matter to court.”

The IEC’s Provincial Electoral Officer in the North West, TumelontleThiba, says the independent candidates are at liberty to take their matter to the Electoral Court.

“They can do that because it is their constitutional right to do so.”

Parties that won the most ward seats do not normally get a large number of PR seats…

The IEC also still has to finalise the allocation of Proportional Representation (PR) seats to political parties after Wednesday’s municipal elections in the Northern Cape.

Proportional Representation plays a critical role in the number of members each party has on a council.

IEC Provincial Electoral Officer in the Northern Cape, Bonolo Modise says a total of 14 councils remain unconfirmed.

“There are twelve councils that can be confirmed but there are fourteen others that are also outstanding. The ward seats are easy to determine. Whoever gets the highest number of votes becomes the ward councillor and that is why we have all the ward councils determined. Remember that the system of Proportional Representation ensures that what some people call ‘smaller parties’ are given an opportunity to participate in governance. That is why you would realise that parties that won the most ward seats do not normally get a large number of PR seats, because of the Proportional Representation system.”

Coalition talks between parties and their outcomes will dominate South Africa’s political scene this week after the local elections failed to yield an outright winner in over 20 municipalities.

The most intense negotiations are expected in the Johannesburg and Tshwane metros, where the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is the kingmaker between the African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA).

Talks may also be needed in Rustenburg, in the North West

The Independent Forum for Service Delivery, the EFF and other opposition parties have pledged their support for a coalition to unseat the ANC in Rustenburg.

However, ANC Provincial Secretary in North West, Dakota Legoete, says once the PR councillors (PRCs) are allocated, his party will have an outright majority.

“We must say we have retained Rustenburg. Out of almost 45 wards, we are comfortable with 34 wards. We are going to emerge as the majority party in Rustenburg. The issue of a coalition will not be a threat to us.

Different political parties have pointed out at their willingness to enter into negotiations for possible coalitions.

However, party supporters on the ground have mixed views about who their parties go into coalitions with.

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