Coalition governments must be loose and unpredictable, says EFF's Floyd Shivambu

The red berets say they are not fussy about whom they team up with in coalition governments

Mawande AmaShabalala Political journalist
EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu at the IEC results centre on Wednesday.
EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu at the IEC results centre on Wednesday.
Image: MASI LOSI

The instability of coalition governments and the endless change of mayors as seen in Tshwane, Joburg and Nelson Mandela Metro in the past five years is a good thing.

This is according to EFF second-in-command Floyd Shivambu, who on Wednesday visited the IEC national results centre in Pretoria.

Shivambu said the EFF was opposed to any legislation seeking to formalise coalition governments to bring about stability.

Any such move would mean parties that go into coalition are in essence forming a new political party as they would all be bound by legislation even when they reach a point of no return on disagreements.

According to the EFF, legislating coalitions seeks to benefit politicians by guaranteeing them uninterrupted five-year office stints even when they did not get outright majority.

“It is good that when you are in office you must not be guaranteed that you are going to finish your five-year term. A politician must know that it is not permanent employment, it is a political  position you have not won. If you make a mistake there will be consequences,” said Shivambu.

“There must never be any legislative regulation of coalitions, you are forming a political party once you legislate it. Coalitions must be that loose, if you disagree you part ways that is how coalitions must be like.

“You must know that there will be consequences if you do something wrong because you did not win power. If you legislate coalitions that I am permanently in, it is no longer a coalition it is a political party.”

With the results counted so far showing that many more municipalities will be hung than ever before, Shivambu said the EFF was ready to govern should it go to bed with any political party.

The red berets were pleased with their steady growth, albeit without any outright majority but drew solace from the plummeting support of its arch rivals the ANC and the DA.

The scattered growth of votes, he said, was a result of EFF opting to mount a nationwide campaign with equal distribution of resources instead of targeting certain areas.

Said Shivambu: “We are not entitled to votes as the EFF, we go out to plead for votes and whatever number of people have confidence in the EFF, we really appreciate that so we are thankful and appreciate the numbers we are getting. We are steadily growing everywhere.

“We are going to be part of governments after these elections, we are going to have mayors and members of mayoral committees from the EFF.

“This time we are going to be government, we are not going to play a non-participatory role so whoever talks to us must know that the EFF wants to be government in metros, not just local municipalities.”

The EFF, through sitting in opposition benches since 2016, he said, had gained enough experience to be able to run municipalities on its own.

“In 2016, we were just three years old as an organisation we did not even know each other among ourselves. Now we know each other we have built proper support systems in the head office to support all our governance initiatives.”

TimesLIVE


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