‘Gauteng and SA not ready for coalitions’ – MEC

By Doreen Mokgolo

Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mzikayifani Khumalo, is concerned about the fractured state of coalition governments in Gauteng and says the country is not ready for a national coalition either.

He spoke to Scrolla.Africa while visiting Ekurhuleni on Thursday to witness the election of a new mayor during a council meeting. 

The meeting was delayed by four hours while party leaders were locked behind closed doors negotiating the terms of the coalition.  

In the current political term, Ekurhuleni has had three mayors since the local elections in 2021, with each spending a year in office before being voted out.

The ANC’s Nkosidiphile Xhakaza was elected unopposed as the third new mayor on Thursday and has vowed to work with multiple parties in the council to bring stability to the troubled metro. 

Service delivery and the performance of local municipalities in the province have deteriorated since the start of coalition governments.

Khumalo said: “South Africa is not ready for a coalition government. It takes a whole lot of maturity to run a coalition government. I know people believe it is doable, making comparisons with the success in developed countries, but we are still a developing country. 

“There are still many issues to process to get coalitions right. For now, we have not matured enough as a country to have a coalition government.” 

Khumalo said that at national level, deputy president, Paul Mashatile started the process by hosting a summit to deal with the possibility of a coalition government. 

“Unfortunately, many political parties didn’t see the need to engage,” he said.

“Many minority parties were disruptive because there were several areas they were dismissing. I suppose people were confident that this is another way to grab power.”

Khumalo said the reality of messy coalition governments is “what we are currently witnessing in Gauteng metros”. 

“We have to make choices about whether we want to play politics or serve our communities,” he said.

Pictured above:  Mzikayifani Khumalo, the Gauteng MEC for Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Image source: Doreen Mokgolo


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