Steps to effective coalition governments

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

With the municipal elections behind us, real work begins on many fronts, the most daunting being finding mature coalition partners for all the hung councils. We have had indifferent coalition experiences over the years. We hope lessons were learnt to avoid a repetition of failed partnerships.

Municipalities, as pivots of governance and service delivery, must restore public confidence and accountability to circumvent malfeasance and financial debauchery.

Although there are no blueprints to manage coalition governance, the following strategies could shed light on finding mature partners:

  • Building a trust chest – well-engineered structures are dividends of expertise and trust between all involved. The implementation teams are carefully considered and matched to the scope of work. Skills set compatibility and work culture circumvents volatile political posturing that can torpedo implementation strategies.
  •  Setting attainable goals and celebration of successes. A shared vision and mission is a pathway to shared responsibilities and collective decision-making processes. It also enhances organisational visibility and timely delivery of services.
  • Past coalitions have underperformed because of mandate dissonance and petty party posturing. Changing work culture creates opportunities for implementing bankable plans, access to scalable infrastructure that accelerates quality service delivery.
  •  Institutionalising service delivery efficacy and effectiveness is a critical component of governance. We expect elected councils to be visionaries and create opportunities for revamping an evolving cadre of service delivery teams.
  • Entrenching stability and sustainability is an integral requirement for any business. We expect elected councils to agree on principles and civic virtues that bolster co-operation and delivery of services. When coalition partners are principled, share a common vision, share decision-making processes and responsibilities, success follows because they are aligned in policy and implementation strategies.
  • Emboldening efficacy and effectiveness is good for business. Expect elected councils to invest in this approach through human capital development and infrastructure capabilities. We expect elected councils to forge corporate partnerships and collaborations to augment diminishing state budgets for socioeconomic development and total transformation.

We expect the newly elected municipal councils to embolden efficacy and effectiveness in the delivery of services. There is too much at stake!

Lebusa Monyooe, by email

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