National Dialogue on coalition of governments on the cards

26 Jul 2023

A National Dialogue on coalition of governments is on the cards.

The deputy minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Parks Tau, confirmed this during remarks at the Salga Western Cape Provincial Members Assembly.

The deputy minister points out that government has identified a need for a cohesive voice on coalition government based on the need for South Africa to “use our collective wisdom of reaching a consensus as we did towards the democratic dispensation, and the need to strengthen existing frameworks that have weaknesses”.

The plan is to convene a Dialogue to discuss and develop a coherent coalition framework followed by legislation.

The objectives of the Dialogue include:

  • Emerging with a consensus on a framework that governs coalitions in South Africa at the national and local government levels;
  • Understanding domestic and global experiences on coalition governments; and
  • Drawing up a process towards the coalition framework and legislation.

According to the deputy minister, the number of hung councils has increased significantly “bringing with it unprecedented governance and service delivery-related challenges within municipalities”.

“Statistics show that the amount of hung councils increased from 24 in the year 2000 to 81 after the conclusion of the 2021 LGE,” he said.

Tau declared that the “high number of hung councils has highlighted the need for a framework to guide the formation and management of coalition councils”.

He confirmed that a Draft LG: Municipal Structures Amendment Bill has been drawn up to deal with coalitions.

Proposed amendments to the Municipal Structures Act include enabling MECs to review Section 12 Notices to change from mayoral executive to collective executive system in hung councils; introduction of a 2-year period on the tabling and passing of motions of no confidence in municipal office-bearers; making the conclusion of a coalition agreement compulsory to enable the participation of political parties in the governance of a municipality; and Schedule 1 of the act amended by introducing a 1% threshold on valid votes cast that a political party must receive to qualify for a seat on the municipal council.

Article sourced from Sabinet.

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