Party leaders from across the political spectrum today signed the coalition agreement that has established multi-party governments in hung councils across the country.
The agreement successfully formed coalition governments in all three Metro Municipalities in Gauteng, and so doing kept the ANC out of government in these Metros.
The coalition agreement was negotiated between the major role-players forming part of these governments: The Democratic Alliance, ActionSA, Freedom Front Plus, Inkatha Freedom Party, African Christian Democratic Party and the Congress of the People.
Multi-party governments were established in 22 municipalities, amongst others Mogale City, Cederberg, George, Thabazimbi, Metsimaholo and Breede Valley. Other parties involved include community-based parties as well as regional or local parties.
Leaders of the coalition partners at the signing ceremony committed themselves to the formation of a responsible coalition which will act in the best interest of citizens.
Lessons learnt from past coalition governments dictated that a comprehensive coalition agreement be negotiated rather than focusing on the composition of executives.
The negotiations entailed a timeous process of several meetings to forge an agreement which sets out the objectives of these governments and provides for, amongst others, how disputes amongst partners will be resolved. The agreement is essential to ensure stability and good governance.
Each coalition is committed to a culture of accountability, transparency, and good governance to be the foundation of all work performed in the municipalities.
The agreement forms the core for the programs of government in each of the municipalities which will set the objectives and priorities for service delivery.
In each municipality a Portfolio Caucus will be established to coordinate and enhance decision making; a Joint Caucus will be established to ensure coordination and good communication
between coalition partners; and a Management Committee will be responsible for the day- to-day management and administration of the coalition.
The agreement also constitutes a Coalition Oversight Group which will maintain an oversight role to monitor the health and strength of the coalition relationships across the various municipalities.
All the political parties involved are committed to ensure stable and successful governments in the interest of all residents. It is of utmost importance that these multi-party governments serve as proof that the future of South Africa will include coalition governments which will serve the communities, root out corruption, ensure better service delivery and create a conducive environment for South Africans to prosper.