During the 2021 local government elections, there were 66 hung councils. This means that including the five metropolitan councils, there were more than 60 councils with no outright majority. The political parties in those municipalities have been given until November 23 to form coalitions. The Daily Vox team has tracked the progress of these councils.
The 1998 Local Government: Municipal Structures Act allows 14 days from when the Electoral Commission (IEC) gazettes the list of councillors for each local municipality and metro. This date is November 23 where all councils need to be constituted. If the coalitions are not decided by then, it will make governing of the councils a little more complicated.
The five hung metros are Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and eThekwini.
Nelson Mandela Bay
[November 22] In Nelson Mandela Bay, the ANC has reclaimed the mayoral position after Eugene Johnson beat the DA mayoral candidate Nqaba Bhanga by a solitary vote. Gary van Niekerk of the Northern Alliance was elected council speaker, beating off Rayno Kayser of the DA. The Northern Alliance won three seats.
In Tshwane, the DA’s Randall Williams was elected the new mayor, uncontested on November 23. The ANC’s councillors in Tshwane did not take part in the election, nor did the party put forward any candidate. Williams was voted in with the support of Action SA and the EFF.
In Mogale City, the DA earned themselves another mayorship. Tyrone Gray was elected mayor while the party’s Jacqui Pannall now occupies the speaker position. Gray was elected to the position with the support of the EFF and FF+.
In Ekurhuleni, the DA’s Tania Campbell was elected the new executive mayor. She beat the ANC’s Mzandile Masina for the post. Ekurhuleni was one of the five metro municipalities that were hung – meaning they will be governed through a coalition.
City of Johannesburg
The Democratic Alliance’s Dr Mpho Phalatse was elected mayor of the city of Joburg on November 23. Vasco da Gama from the DA was elected the speaker of the house. ActionSA’s Herman Mashaba saw his aspirations for mayor dashed when the DA refused to go into coalition with his party.
The Cederberg municipality in the Western Cape was one of the first hung municipalities to get its first coalition. The Democratic Alliance (DA), Freedom Front Plus and Cederberg First Residents Association entered into a deal. The deal resulted in the Cederberg First Residents Association taking the mayorship, Freedom Front Plus the deputy mayorship and the DA the speakership. Dr Ruben Richards was elected the mayor.
Mpumalanga’s Lekwa municipality
In the Lekwa municipality, one of the 66 hung councils, the Lekwa Community Forum (LCF) took both the mayorship and speaker positions. The chief whip position went to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
In 21 of the hung councils in KwaZulu Natal, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) announced they had entered into coalition agreements with the African National Congress (ANC). Although the IFP had previously said they would not go into coalitions with the ANC, they made the announcement on November 17.
Party president Velenkosini Hlabisa said: “Thus, after frank discussions at national level with the ANC, we have come to a broad understanding that where the IFP has the most seats, despite no outright majority, the IFP will form the municipal government. Reciprocally, where the ANC has the most seats, despite no outright majority, the ANC will form the municipal government.”
The coalition negotiations are still ongoing. A November 18 council meeting has been delayed to November 23, the day of the deadline. In the elections, the ANC won 75 seats in the council and the DA earned 69. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) (23), ActionSA (19) and VF+ (17).
In Ekurhuleni, negotiations are still ongoing. A council sitting was due to be held on November 18. However, the meeting will now be held on November 22 – a day before the deadline. During the elections, the ANC got 38.19%, the DA 28.72% and the EFF 13.57% in the Ekurhuleni metro.
In the Kannaland municipal council, the council re-elected Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (ICOSA) leader Jeffrey Donson as the mayor. Donson is a convicted rapist as its mayor. Werner Meshoa, also of ICOSA, was elected as the deputy mayor. Meshoa has been convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice. The pair were elected to the executive positions in the council with the support of the ANC.
A petition has been started calling on president Cyril Ramaphosa to remove the pair from their positions.
[Update as of November 11] The ANC is due to review their coalition with ICOSA. “The ANC’s extended interim provincial committee (IPC) took note of the grave concerns raised about the Kannaland municipality.”
The Patriotic Alliance’s (PA) Gaba Pieterson was elected mayor in Beaufort West. This was after the party entered into coalition with the ANC.
Rustenburg Local Municipality
In the Rustenburg local municipality, the ANC has managed to hold on to power. This municipality was one of three hung councils in the province. Former speaker Sheila Mabale-Huma was elected the executive mayor of Rustenburg.
In Laingsburg, the PA’s Mitchell Smith was elected mayor. This was despite the party only holding one seat in the council. A coalition was formed between the ANC, the PA, the Karoo Gemeenskap Party and Karoo Democratic Force.
After an EFF councillor voted with the DA and FF+, the DA won all three positions in the municipality.
In the Maluti-a-Phofung municipality, in the Free State, the MAP-16 will lead the coalition government. The organisation are made up of former ANC councillors who left after calling the party out of corruption. The MAP-16 led coalition was formed with the help of the EFF, the Dikwankwetla Party of South Africa (DPSA), ATM, SARKO, AULA, AIC.
This piece will be updated as more information is released and coalitions are finalised.