15 September 2023 - NW2800
Xasa, Mr FD to ask the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
What is the progress of her department in harnessing the development of policy and/or legislative interventions in strengthening coalitions in local government?
With the conclusion of the National Dialogue on Coalition Governments hosted by the Office of the Deputy President on 04 and 05 August 2023 at the University of the Western Cape, the Department of Cooperative Governance will now commence with its consultative processes on the proposed draft amendments to the Municipal Structures Act.
We will endeavour to have this in place before the commencement of our next term of local government in 2026.
Some of the aspects to be addressed in the legislation relate to (i) encouraging amendments to the section 12 Notices to change from Mayoral Executive System to a Collective Executive System to create an environment of “political inclusivity”, (ii) professionalising the administration, (iii) limitation on motions of no confidence through the introduction of a ‘2-year’ cooling-off period to force the focus on the functionality of council and service delivery, (iv) creation and publication of coalition agreements, (v) enabling the party with the highest number of seats to be given first preference to form a coalition with clear timeframes and (vi) enabling the party with the highest number of seats to be given first preference for the appoint of the Mayor (as appointed from the EXCO).
I wish to also acknowledge the ongoing discourse on this subject on various platforms, but also the work done by various stakeholders, and we believe that the knowledge generated from these engagements will lay a good foundation to build on towards the regulatory framework to guide coalition arrangements in municipal councils, including whether or not and how the municipal electoral system may need to change to ensure greater stability.
In the meantime, we urge all political parties to prioritise the needs of our people, to put their differences aside, and ensure that we have councils that are stable, functional and delivering services to all our communities.