More coali­tions on cards for SA

Ex­perts dif­fer on whether they re­ally work

Pretoria News - - METRO - RAPULA MOATSHE [email protected]

EX­PERTS pre­dict that the 2019 gen­eral elec­tion could usher in more coali­tion gov­ern­ments in the coun­try.

This tran­spired dur­ing a sem­i­nar at the Hu­man Sciences Re­search Coun­cil in Pre­to­ria yes­ter­day, where chal­lenges faced by coali­tion gov­ern­ments came un­der the spot­light.

The pan­el­lists were grap­pling with the ques­tion: What if the out­comes of the 2019 and 2021 elec­tions in­ten­sify the re­al­ity of coali­tion gov­ern­ments?

The trend of coali­tion gov­ern­ments had been with the coun­try since 2000, but it was height­ened dur­ing the 2016 mu­nic­i­pal polls, par­tic­i­pants noted.

Speak­ers shared sen­ti­ments that the coun­try was on the cusp of more coali­tions after the 2019 elec­tion, but dif­fered on whether the sys­tem was good for ser­vice de­liv­ery or not.

The sem­i­nar was themed In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal re­la­tions and coali­tion gov­ern­ments at the cross­roads, and at­tended by aca­demics, so­cial ac­tivists and po­lit­i­cal ex­perts.

Dr Makhosi Khoza, head of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Strat­egy at the Or­gan­i­sa­tion Un­do­ing Tax Abuse (Outa), said coali­tions were not nec­es­sar­ily a recipe for dis­as­ter. “Coali­tion gov­ern­ments work de­pend­ing on the trade-offs (put) on the ta­ble (by dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal par­ties),” she said.

In the same breath, Khoza said she didn’t be­lieve coali­tion gov­ern­ments were the an­swer to so­cial chal­lenges.

“Po­lit­i­cal par­ties are not nec­es­sar­ily the an­swer to South Africa.

“The an­swer to our chal­lenges as ci­ti­zens is for us to con­sider es­tab­lish­ing an apo­lit­i­cal pub­lic party.”

She re­buked politi­cians for be­ing self-serv­ing and po­lit­i­cal pawns of their par­ties. “You are sup­posed to be pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives, but when you’re in Par­lia­ment you are not pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives, but po­lit­i­cal de­ploy­ees.

“You have to do what your party says and not nec­es­sar­ily what ci­ti­zens ex­pect you to do,” Khoza said.

ANC Tsh­wane re­gional chair­per­son Dr Kgosi Maepa said the coali­tion in the City had not worked for the past two years.

The DA-led coali­tion was be­set by in­sta­bil­ity ev­i­dent by an on­go­ing feud be­tween Ex­ec­u­tive Mayor Solly Msi­manga and city man­ager Dr Moeketsi Mosola, he said.

“There is no ser­vice de­liv­ery. The mu­nic­i­pal man­ager and the mayor are in court and the city man­ager is not sign­ing for any­thing. He said he doesn’t take in­struc­tions from DA.”

He blamed the part­ner­ship be­tween the DA and the EFF for poor ser­vice, say­ing both par­ties had di­ver­gent views on how the City must be run.

Maepa said the EFF as the king­maker in the City could at any given time de­cide to work with the ANC by kick­ing Msi­manga out.

“That causes prob­lems be­cause it will breed in­sta­bil­ity in the con­text of the eco­nomic devel­op­ment and other im­por­tant mat­ters.”

Par­tic­i­pant Jonny Mohlala re­but­ted the as­ser­tion that coali­tions could work. “Coali­tion gov­ern­ments have never and will never be sus­tain­able for the sim­ple rea­son that they didn’t have a man­date,” he said.

Former mu­nic­i­pal man­ager at Em­fu­leni Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Thomas Mk­haza said changes in po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship must not af­fect mu­nic­i­pal ad­min­is­tra­tion. It had to be sta­ble at all times. Chop­ping and chang­ing mu­nic­i­pal man­agers cre­ated in­sta­bil­ity. “A mu­nic­i­pal man­ager should not be ap­pointed on the ba­sis of a par­tic­u­lar po­lit­i­cal party but on qual­i­fi­ca­tions and lead­er­ship skills.”

THOBILE MATHONSI African News Agency (ANA)

A MONK prays dur­ing the com­mem­o­ra­tion of the Na­tional Day of Thai­land and the birth­day of the late king Bhu­mi­bol Adulyadej at the am­bas­sador’s res­i­dence in Brook­lyn this week. |

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.