By-elections are set to take place around South Africa on Wednesday, with 95 wards contested. 444 candidates are expected to contest the by-elections, with 40 of them running independently.
Males account for 305 (69%) of the candidates while females account for 139 (31%).
The by-elections were scheduled to take place in March but had to be postponed due to the national lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. They are as a result of either resignations, death or redeployment of former leaders in the municipalities.
Parties Alliances and Coalitions
Some of the local municipalities came under coalition governance following the results of the 2016 local elections and other by-elections that came after the local elections. Coalition refers to the form of government where different political parties co-operate, reducing the dominance of one party over the other in the municipality. They often result when either party is able to obtain a majority on their own.
Below are coalition-ruled wards from different provinces:
Free State – Metsimaholo
In Metsimaholo, five political parties which include the ANC, SACP, Metsimaholo Community Association, Forum For Service Delivery and AIC formed a coalition after there was no outright winner during hotly contested by-elections in November 2017.
However, in 2018, the coalition hung on the balance due to speculation that infighting between the SACP and the ANC disrupted decision-making at meetings aimed to address service delivery concerns.
Both Metsimaholo Community Association and Forum for Service Delivery have expressed their unhappiness about what they say is the ANC’s lack of cooperation.
“It is difficult because the ANC, they were not attending these political management committee meetings making it difficult. Sometimes we are bound to take decisions in absentia,” said Victor Nyembe of MCA.
Metsimaholo Local Municipality put under administration:
KwaZulu-Natal – Inkosi Langalibalele
The ANC formed a coalition with other parties in Inkosi Langalibalele, with the ruling party and Al Jamah-ah being in the majority of the coalition. This was after no party obtained a majority in Inkosi Langalibalele Municipality.
North West – Rustenburg
The ANC and the Botho Community Movement (BCM) formed a coalition after the ruling party obtained 43 seats of the 89-seat council while the BCM obtained one following the 2016 local elections.
However, the coalition turned sour after the BCM accused the ANC of going back on an agreement signed by both parties on service delivery. The BCM told the ANC that next time, they should look elsewhere in the formation of coalitions.
ANC in Rustenburg says they blindsided the opposition to wrest control of the municipality:
Northern Cape – Nama Khoi
Following the 2016 local elections, the ANC and the Khoisan Revolution Party (KRS) formed a coalition after all parties failed to obtain a majority in the local municipality. However, in 2018, the KRS withdrew from the coalition, citing infighting within the ANC, power struggles and being side-lined from municipal affairs or appointments.
“Not one single person of the Khoisan Revolution Party is being deployed at an EPWP project or elsewhere. So, it cannot be that we are kingmakers and we have no say in anything. The ANC is run by the regional task team, and they’re doing just what they’re doing there,” KRS leader Stantley Peterse said.
Northern Cape – Kgatelopele
The DA and the Kgatelopele Community Forum (KCF) formed a coalition after all parties failed to obtain a majority following the 2016 local government elections.
Western Cape – Beaufort West
Following the local elections, the DA and the Karoo Democratic Force (KDF) formed a coalition after no party obtained a majority. However, the KDF-led a motion of no confidence against DA Mayor in the Karoo, souring relations in the coalition.
The DA accused the KDF of voting in favour of chaos and corruption after the party handed power to the ANC in the area.
The DA has clinched a deal with smaller parties in the Karoo region:
Western Cape – Bitou
The DA and the Activated United Front (AUF) formed a coalition in Bitou following the local elections. All parties failed to obtain a majority, with the ANC and the DA level at three seats each. The AUF obtained one seat and formed a coalition with the ANC.
However, in 2017, the AUF ended the coalition, citing failure by the ANC to avail resources to address problems. The AUF then went into a coalition with the DA.
Western Cape – Hessequa
The DA and the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) after all parties failed to obtain a majority in the area following the 2016 local elections.
Western Cape – Kannaland
Following the 2016 local government elections, the coalition between the ANC and the DA, but the National DA said the coalition had not been authorised. In March 2017, the ANC then recalled all its councillors, putting an end to the coalition.
However, the DA said it would side with the ANC to keep the Independent Civic Organisation (ICOSA) away from access to public funds following evidence of financial misconduct amounting to more than R14 million under ICOSA.
DA-ANC vote has seen ICOSA ousted in Kannaland:
Western Cape – Knysna
Following the 2016 local elections, the DA formed a coalition with the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and an independent councillor after all parties failed to get a majority.
Western Cape – Laingsburg
The DA and the Karoo Development Party (KOP) formed a coalition after all parties failed to obtain a majority in the 2016 local elections. However, in March 2017, the KOP broke out of the coalition to form one with the ANC.
Western Cape – Prince Albert
Following the 2016 local government elections, the DA formed a coalition with the Karoo Gemeenskap Party (KGP).
However, in July 2020, the KGP outed the DA from leadership and formed a coalition with the ANC. The ANC then, in turn, appointed a KGP candidate as mayor.
Western Cape – Witzenberg
After no party obtained a majority in the 2016 local government elections, the DA and COPE went into a coalition in the area.
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