Snap polls a solution to metro impasse

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga.
Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga.
Image: Thulani Mbele

Perhaps it is not a bad idea for Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay Metros to go for early municipal elections.

This is probably the only sustainable solution to the political upheavals the two metro councils have been going through lately.

Surely, two or more of the bigger parties in these metros can strike behind-the-scenes deals that would ensure that new coalition governments are formed.

But how long would that last? And, are the DA and the ANC willing to rely on the EFF to attain mayoral positions when the Red Berets have shown themselves to flip-flop?

While there is nothing inherently wrong with coalition governments, they prove disastrous if they are not based on principle, but on whims of leaders.

In the current situation in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and in Tshwane, it is the ordinary residents that are suffering as this instability has resulted in slow service delivery.

Since none of the parties can form a government on its own and all seem unable to find partners to work with, it might not be a bad idea to seek a fresh mandate from the voters.

For the DA, if indeed it has performed well in the two cities since taking over in 2016, as it claims, a fresh election may result in the party growing its share of the vote to over 50% - thereby needing no partner to form the next government.

An early election could be of benefit to the ANC too. The party's leaders believe that they lost the two metros largely because its traditional constituencies were too fed up with then president Jacob Zuma to come out and vote.

Well, Zuma is no longer a factor now and the Thuma Mina spirit is apparently sweeping through the land. An early election would show us if this spirit translates into tangible votes.

Although the EFF benefits more than the other two political parties in the current situation, as it gets to be a kingmaker, fresh elections may further strengthen its hand. An improved performance at an early municipal election, especially in Tshwane, would be a morale-booster for the EFF ahead of next year's general polls to send a message that Julius Malema's party is a viable alternative to the ruling ANC.

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