Steenhuisen: DA hopeful about victory of opposition-led govt in Tshwane

With the Joburg and Nelson Mandela Bay metros proving evasive for the party’s grasp after the Patriotic Alliance decided to partner with the African National Congress, the Democratic Alliance appears to have thrown in its lot with Tshwane.

DA leader John Steenhuisen. Picture: @Our_DA/Twitter

JOHANNEBSURG/CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday said it was hopeful about a possible victory of a government led by opposition parties in Tshwane despite the challenges it was facing as it worked on forming coalitions.

With the Joburg and Nelson Mandela Bay metros proving evasive for the party’s grasp after the Patriotic Alliance decided to partner with the African National Congress, the DA appears to have thrown in its lot with Tshwane.

The party has governed the capital through coalitions since 2016, however, this too proved difficult as parties encountered differences along the way, leading to the ultimate dissolution of the council at some point.

The DA said it had learnt its lesson from the unstable coalitions of the past five years, saying it was only interested in forming solid agreements that would restore the trust of voters.

Partly leader John Steenhuisen said Tshwane could very well be such a coalition government if their plans succeeded.

“Just with those five parties, we can form an opposition government in Tshwane. So, there is a very clear path to victory in Tshwane.”

The ANC won 75 seats in the Tshwane council, the Economic Freedom Fighters 23 seats, the DA has 69, ActionSA 19 and the Freedom Front Plus 17.

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The DA said it had completed some coalition agreements and hoping for more.

A DA mayor has been elected in the Matzikama Municipality through a partnership between the party and the Freedom Front Plus.

Steenhuisen said coalition talks in a number of other municipalities such as Saldanha Bay, Witzenberg and Breede Valley were still under way.

He said they were still in discussions in the Eastern Cape's Dr Beyers Naude Municipality and the Northern Cape's Namakhoi and Siyathemba Municipalities.

“Helen Zille and the provincial leadership team flew up these parts of the Northern Cape to go and conduct those talks and we are really confident that we will soon turn out coalition government in a number of those hung municipalities.”

The DA demands the coalition partner with the most votes get to appoint a mayor.

A block of DA, ActionSA, FF Plus, Cope and ACDP seats could see the parties govern the city.

The DA is also taking a long view on coalition negotiations, saying it was approaching them with 2024 in mind.

Steenhuisen said given the “real” prospects of provinces and national government election results being hung in 2024, political parties had to show the electorate that multiparty coalitions could be stable.