The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says while it will agree to a meeting with the African National Congress (ANC) if requested, it has reiterated it will not be entering into any coalitions with the ruling party.
Political parties have 14 days to conclude talks and finalise coalitions.
Both the DA and the ANC received less than 50 percent in Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni and are seeking help from smaller parties to govern the big metros.
The EFF have come out as the kingmakers in the 2016 municipal elections and are in the position to wield power in the big councils.
One of the EFF’s demands is for President Jacob Zuma to be removed as president if any agreement on a coalition is to take place with the ANC.
The party’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says: “This democracy depends precisely on opposition speaking to each other, so we’ve got to listen to them because we’ve got to be able to tell them the things that we’ve been saying through the media personally.”
Meanwhile, with the dust from the local government elections barely settled, the focus now will be on coalition talks as the ANC and the Democratic Alliance (DA) try to woo smaller parties into governing with them.
The courtship dance is likely to be conducted mostly behind doors as the ANC and the DA try to lure potential partners with the promise of power and positions.
With no outright winner in four of the country’s eight metros, the stakes are high.
With both the DA and the ANC looking for partners to give them the 50% plus one they need to govern, coalition talks are set to get under way in earnest.
Local government expert Professor Jaap de Visser says the negotiations call for cool heads.
“Coalition politics really requires very shrewd and very astute politicking and we need level-headed politics at local government level at the moment.”
De Visser says coalitions need to be stable so that they can last or delivery will be affected.
“I don’t think the City of Tshwane or the City of Johannesburg can afford unstable governments, there are major issues that need to be resolved; urbanisation is too fast.”
Parties have two weeks, until 20 August, to seal their deals, so that mayors, and mayoral and executive committees can be elected, in Joburg, Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay and Ekurhuleni and at least 23 smaller councils.
UDM HAS BEEN APPROACHED
The DA in Nelson Mandela Bay needs four seats in council to form a coalition to govern. It’s one of four hung metros in the country.
The DA edged out the ANC in last week’s local government elections to become the largest party in the metro with 57 seats.
The United Democratic Movement, with its two seats in council, looks to be a likely coalition partner for the DA in Nelson Mandela Bay
Mayor-elect Athol Trollip indicated his eagerness to finalise a partnership after the election results were announced last week.
“I’ve identified who I want stop speak to, it would be premature to tell you who the other people are until I’ve had personal discussions with them.”
Trollip has assured municipal staff there won’t be any purges under a DA-led administration.
It’s unclear whether his political rival, Danny Jordaan, will lead the ANC opposition in council. He was deployed by the ANC to stabilize the ailing municipality last year.
The ANC might be asking itself this morning whether the intervention was a little too late.