South Africans will have to wait and see who will rule in more than 25 municipalities where no political party obtained an overall majority in last week’s local government election, as negotiations are continuing.
The deadline for councils to meet and elect a mayor, deputy mayor and speaker is 6pm next Saturday August 20.
The rumour mill has been working overtime, but it seems as though no final agreement has been reached in any municipality save for three councils in the Western Cape and six in KwaZulu-Natal.
In Nelson Mandela Bay, the DA’s hopes of finalising who it would partner with were dashed last night after the parties approached requested more time.
DA federal chairman Athol Trollip said on Wednesday that because of the back-to-back meetings the party was engaged in, it was confident of knowing by the end of the day who it would partner with.
But yesterday he said there had been no progress to report, as intermediaries were in discussion with their principals.
“I have got absolutely nothing to report on. The discussions are confidential.”
In Cape Town, DA Western Cape leader Patricia de Lille is expected to announce agreements with community parties to rule the municipalities of Beaufort West, Laingsburg and Prince Albert this morning.
Meanwhile, the IFP seems set to exclude the ANC from coalition agreements in six KwaZulu-Natal municipalities: Endumeni (Dundee), Nquthu, Jozini, Edumbe (Paulpietersburg), Mtubatuba and Abaqulusi (Vryheid).
But the big question remains whether the DA and EFF can find each other in some of the country’s larger municipalities, notably Tshwane and Johannesburg.
Rumours that the DA had offered the mayoralty of Tshwane to the EFF in exchange for that of Johannesburg, or alternatively that the EFF had agreed to let the DA govern Tshwane, have been hotly denied by all concerned.
The Freedom Front Plus, which has to work with both the DA and the EFF if it wants to unseat the ANC in Limpopo’s Modimolle municipality, also said it had not yet decided.
FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder said his party was conducting talks with various parties about possible coalitions or cooperation agreements, but nothing had been finalised.
EFF national chairman Dali Mpofu said his party had made certain demands, and was awaiting responses. – Additional reporting by Simthandile Ford