Coalition governments are the future, says political commentator

Political commentator Makhosini Mgitywa said that coalitions may not be the answer to failing governance but they did offer an opportunity for better accountability.

FILE: A voter placing their ballot paper inside a ballot box after casting their vote at the Rantailane Secondary School, in Ga-Rankuwa on 19 May 2021. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Coalition governments in South Africa have often resulted in instability but the growing discontent in traditional political parties could see more of this emerge in the upcoming municipal polls.

The Independent Electoral Congress (IEC) has seen an increase in independent candidates registering to contest in the elections next month, with some participating under the banner of civic organisations, such as Mmusi Maimane’s One South Africa Movement.

While he concedes that some coalition-run municipalities have been shaky at best, political commentator Makhosini Mgitywa said that coalition governments were the future.

"In Johannesburg, I can assure you that after November 1 you'll see a coalition government. The same goes for Tshwane and Ekurhuleni."

He said that coalitions may not be the answer to failing governance but they did offer an opportunity for better accountability.

"Many of the dysfunctional municipalities, municipalities where there's one party that has formed the government, in instances where there are multi-party governments, those parties are able to keep each other in check so when one party does what other partners do not like, they can pull out of that coalition and it will collapse."

In the North West, civic movement, Save Madibeng said that it was open to coalitions, with conditions.

Meanwhile, Mgitywa said that voters should not discount smaller players as potential kingmakers, recalling the upset caused by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Tshwane and Joburg metros in 2016.

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