Gauteng metros postpone council sittings as coalition talks continue

17 November 2021 - 20:51
All three Gauteng metros have postponed their council sittings as coalition talks continue.
All three Gauteng metros have postponed their council sittings as coalition talks continue.
Image: Kevin Sutherland/EPA

All three Gauteng metropolitan municipalities have postponed their council sittings to next week as political parties struggle to conclude coalition talks.

No party won an outright majority in Johannesburg, Tshwane or Ekurhuleni in the November 1 local government election, meaning there will have to be intense talks on who gets to govern where, in coalitions or partnerships.

Though the ANC leads in all three metros, the party will have to convince smaller parties to come on board to form governments.

Opposition parties such as the DA, ActionSA and EFF are also eyeing the metros. They have made clear their intention to unseat the ANC, but are also seemingly struggling to come to coalition agreements.

Initially scheduled for Thursday, Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg will have their council sittings on Monday, while the Tshwane council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.

The councils have until November 23 to elect mayors, speakers and chief whips — which is 14 business days since the elections.

Tshwane, initially scheduled to hold its inaugural council sitting on Thursday, has announced that it has been postponed to next Tuesday. The postponement was at the request of political parties represented in the council who said they were still finalising possible coalition agreements.

“The local government elections did not produce an outright winner to govern Tshwane. Consequently, parties are hard at work to cobble together a coalition government,” said head of communications Selby Bokaba. “All the logistical arrangements are still in place to ensure the smooth running of the constitution of the new council in the capital city.”

In Ekurhuleni, spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said: “In preparation, the city will host a welcome day for all councillors tomorrow, November 17, where they will be inducted on the rules of council, councillors' remuneration, and other critical things that go with being a councillor.”

A memo sent to Johannesburg councillors informed them of the postponement, saying they will sit on next Tuesday and Wednesday.

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