Municipal coalitions: ANC could form minority govts with DA support – Steenhuisen

John Steenhuisen
Image credit: Twitter/John Steenhuisen

DA leader John Steenhuisen has suggested that the ANC could form minority governments in hung municipalities with “DA support in council for all decisions that it takes in the public interest.”

Steenhuisen dropped the hint in his Straight Talk column published on the DA website on Wednesday (10 November).

‘No DA coalitions with ANC or EFF’

He said the DA is willing to consider coalitions with parties that share its core values, which include “a commitment to the rule of law, nonracialism, a social market economy and a capable state.”

According to him, a commitment to a capable state means adhering to the principle of separation of party and state “and therefore a fulsome rejection of cadre deployment.”

“We are not under any circumstances willing to go into coalition with the EFF or with the ANC in its current form, because their governing principles are diametrically opposed to ours. Therefore any coalition with them would be unstable and dysfunctional,” Steenhuisen explained.

The DA would rather be in the opposition in hung municipalities than be part of local governments where it is unable to fulfil its manifesto or apply its principles, he added.

DA-supported ANC minority government?

Steenhuisen said, “Some in the commentariat believe the DA should go into coalition with the ANC to keep the EFF out.

“Yet, the ANC is not forced to go into coalition with the EFF instead. It has the option of forming a minority government, which would have DA support in council for all decisions that it takes in the public interest. An ANC-DA coalition is not in SA’s best interest.”

The DA formed similar minority governments in Tshwane and Johannesburg after the 2016 local government elections, enabled by its informal alliance with the EFF.

A minority government happens when a political party that does not have a 50+1 percent majority forms a government with the support of other parties in the council without entering into a formal coalition with them.

With the DA, ActionSA and IFP all closing the door on coalitions with the ANC, reports indicate that the ANC and EFF are in talks about a possible deal involving Tshwane and Johannesburg.

However, President Cyril Ramaphosa has indicated that the ANC is “not on its knees” and that it would be in the opposition of needs be. Alternatively, if parties are unable to form coalitions or alliances, the ANC would be open to fresh elections in the hung municipalities, he added.

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