Coalition Wins in Lamberts Bay, Cederberg, and Vows to Fix ANC Damage First
Coalition Wins in Lamberts Bay, Cederberg, and Vows to Fix ANC Damage First. Photo: Lamberts Bay Tourism

A coalition of Cederberg-Eerste (CE), Democratic Alliance (DA) and Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) in the Cederberg Municipality yesterday won the by-election in Lamberts Bay / Leipoltville (Ward 5) convincingly.

In a joint statement today (Thursday), the coalition said its first task is “to assess and repair the damage caused by the ANC and the PA since they took over in July 2022.”

The statement explained “when the Ward Councillor position became vacant in July 2022, the coalition decided to field only one candidate to represent the coalition on condition that it is the best candidate for the task.

“CE and FF Plus therefore decided to place all its support behind the selected candidate later identified as Dr John Hayes, a member of the DA, the local medical doctor of the town for over 35 years already.

“We are pleased to confirm that Dr Hayes victory at the polls yesterday means that the coalition will regain control and govern the Cederberg Municipality.”

Whilst the statement thanked respective coalition members for their trust, confidence, and “political maturity and common sense”, it wasn’t totally evident on social media.

The DA tweeted late last night: “BREAKING: The DA wins Ward 5 Cederberg, securing 46% of the votes. Voters are rejecting small parties like the PA who have sold out to the ANC. Instead, they are uniting behind the DA – endorsing the track record of good governance as we surge towards a new government in 2024.”

There was no mention of its coalition partners. FF Plus Chief Whip Dr Corné Mulder responded: “DA arrogance in full cry. Cederberg Ward 5 could not be won by DA without Cederberg First and FF Plus support. It was jointly agreed not to split vote. Without that PA would have won and ANC/PA coalition would rule. Why this arrogance. Did DA learn nothing from loss of Jhb?”

This morning DA Leader John Steenhuisen was on Twitter doing damage control. He tweeted: “Great victory for the opposition coalition in Cederberg. Well done to all the DA activists and our partners in the community and other organisations that worked together to ensure that treachery would not stand.”

One South African replied to Steenhuisen: “Thank you; a much more generous statement. Please speak to the team members dropping the ball and sowing divisions in twitter.”

Meanwhile the DA today held a live briefing about new legislation to stabilise coalition governance. The party said this is to prioritise service delivery whilst reducing party political fractiousness.

“As “king makers”, tiny parties can wield power that is far out of proportion to their electoral support,” said the DA. “This makes them vulnerable to being bribed by larger parties that need their support, posing huge risk to the stability of coalition governments.”

Tiny parties with minimal electoral support should not be able to determine whether the ANC or DA runs a government, said the DA. “That is a subversion of democracy. Yet this is currently the case.”