Nelson Mandela Bay Political Parties Sign Historic Coalition Agreement
Nelson Mandela Bay Political Parties Sign Historic Coalition Agreement. Photo iStockPhoto

Leaders of several political parties in South Africa signed a historic agreement today – Thurs 28 July 2022 – to form a new coalition government in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape.

The agreement was signed by leaders of the Democratic Alliance, Freedom Front Plus, African Christian Democratic Party, African Independent Congress, Abantu Integrity Movement Pan Africanist Congress, and the United Democratic Movement.

Today’s agreement is the culmination of almost four months of negotiations to form a new government in the metro. In a shared statement, the groups said that extensive time was spent discussing a shared set of values, principles, commitments, objectives, and priorities that will inform the governance blueprint of the new coalition.

“There is no denying the terrible state of the metro and the urgent need for a change in government to improve basic service delivery for the residents. The current water crisis (hurtling towards Day Zero) and the poor leadership surrounding the crisis have been a persistent threat to the people of Nelson Mandela Bay who still face the imminent possibility of dry taps across almost half of the Metro.

“This crisis and others demand strong political leadership to steer the municipality away from disaster and towards prosperity.”

The statement explained that the impasse surrounding the legality of the City Manager has eroded the stability and functionality of the municipality’s administrative arm. “Service delivery simply cannot materialise without strong institutions to implement the ideas of political leadership.”

These two burning issues, among many others, are key priorities of this multi-party coalition which has its work set out for it to restore stability, root out corruption and improve service delivery.

“We stand ready to take the lead and rebuild what has been broken down,” said the new coalition party which admitted that negotiations had not been easy and had taken time, effort and dedication.

The statement pointed out that while coalition in South Africa are never easy, it’s vital they learn lessons from past attempts and apply better measures since “it is a fact that the future of South Africa, especially after 2024, will be dominated by coalitions.”

“Nelson Mandela Bay can join the many other governments across the country that are living proof that coalitions work when there is dedication by all players to make them work,” said the statement.

The next step…

The coalition’s next step will be tabling a motion of no confidence in the current government, so that a turn-around in the metro can be realised. This will also enable the new multi-party coalition to enter government and present their governance plan to the residents of the municipality on the most critical service delivery issues at the centre of their heart.

“The new multi-party coalition are united in our quest to fix what has been broken and restore hope that has been lost. Let this be a turning point for the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro where a capable coalition government can rebuild the municipality and set it on a new path towards a better future for all of the residents,” said the new coalition.