Salga concerned that 14 days not enough time for coalition talks

By law, councillors have to hold their first council meeting within 14 days of the election results being declared but given that political parties are not reaching agreements for coalitions, this period seems to be too short.

The IEC Results Operations Centre in Pretoria. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Local Government Association (Salga) said that with the 14 days provided to councils to hold their first meeting, there were concerns about whether this was enough time given the number of hung councils.

In Gauteng, the three metros of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni are hung councils and will have to be governed by coalitions.

However, Salga's chief of operations Lance Joel is concerned that if there is any extension given to these hung municipalities it leaves the municipality without political oversight for that time.

By law, councillors have to hold their first council meeting within 14 days of the election results being declared.

But given that political parties are not reaching agreements for coalitions, this period seems to be too short.

Joel said that this might have to be looked at.

"Our democracy is maturing in an interesting way. Who would have thought 20 years ago that we would be having so many hung municipalities? I think it's exciting to our democracy perhaps there is an opportunity for reflection that could ultimately lead to reconsidering that 14 days, particularly in instances where there are hung municipalities, it is a reality that needs a bit more time for conversation."