MEC Maile warns political parties to work together as coalition deadline looms

Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC Lebogang Maile has urged parties to not repeat what he called the chaos and in some cases, almost total collapse of governance witnessed over the past five years.

FILE: Gauteng Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile. Picture: Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC Lebogang Maile said that the state of affairs in the province would be a true test of the maturity and health of the country’s young democracy.

Maile’s remarks come as metro’s and local councils are expected from Monday to elect office-bearers and constitute councils.

The MEC held a media briefing on Sunday in Sandton on the reconstitution of municipal councils.

He warned political parties to find a way to work together as the deadline to form coalitions looms.

The City of Johannesburg’s inaugural sitting of council for the 2021-2026 term of office is scheduled to be held on Monday and Tuesday.

Acting city manager Floyd Brink will be the presiding officer during the swearing-in of the 270 councillors and the election of Speaker of Council.

Brink will then preside over the election of the executive mayor and chief whip of council.

This comes amid continued wrangling between political parties over possible coalitions in Johannesburg and also in Tshwane.

MEC Lebogang Maile has urged parties to not repeat what he called the chaos and in some cases, almost total collapse of governance witnessed over the past five years.

"We don't want to be running municipalities, it's a heavy burden. We have our own responsibilities as the provincial government. There is no guarantee that everything will go well, but we are playing our part, and we are appealing to all of them to ensure that things go well," Maile said.

Recent developments in coalition negotiations have left the process wide open to speculation. This was after the Democratic Alliance (DA) decided that it would rather put up its candidate in Johannesburg than go in a coalition with smaller parties.