Nelson Mandela Bay metro has declared a coalition government which happen to be the first of the eight major cities to do so after two weeks of the 2021 elections.
Politicians from all sides are convening in the local chambers later today, to elect a Mayor and a House Speaker. This is the first step in establishing who will govern Nelson Mandela Bay for the next five years. However, problems are still afoot, given that no parties are likely to lead the metro with 50% of public support.
Neither the ANC nor the DA has enough allies in the city to form a majority government. That means a minority government is the most likely outcome here, which will see the people in charge outnumbered by the opposition – in turn, this will make it very difficult for the ruling parties to pass laws and get things done.
Alas, a minority government would reflect the will of the people: There was barely anything to separate the DA and ANC in terms of votes, and both have 48 council seats to their name in NMB. If either party could reach an agreement with smaller groups and get to 60 seats, they would control the metro – but it’s just not likely to happen.
The EFF and the Northern Alliance, who have formed a voting agreement together, would make up 11 council seats here, taking a major party within touching distance of controlling the region. However, the Red Berets have ruled out working with the ANC, and the DA is still refusing to team up with Julius Malema and his comrades.
The Patriotic Alliance has also sided with the ANC, meaning the DA could not rely on them for coalition support. Therefore, the only path to government for these two political heavyweights is to form alliances with a host of smaller parties, accept minority control, and try to run a city where the powers that be are outnumbered by the opposition.
There’s talk of the AIM candidate Khusta Jack, who won the party’s only seat in NMB, acting as a ‘compromise candidate’ both the ANC and DA could elect in as the city’s mayor. But this remains unconfirmed.