New chapter begins for local govt after polls produce surprising results

Johannesburg – South Africa’s local government begins a new chapter, with the 2021 local government elections producing surprises.

With the elections declared free and fair, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said that the African National Congress (ANC) still dominated in the country’s 2013 municipalities, having achieved a majority in 161 of them.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) remains the main opposition with a majority in 13 municipalities.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) also got a majority in 10 municipalities – all in KwaZulu Natal.

The number of hung municipalities has more than doubled from the 2016 figure, ushering in a record number of coalitions on the cards.

The highest rate of hung councils was in Gauteng, which include all three of its metros and five out of its six municipalities.

There are 19 in KwaZulu-Natal, 15 in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo has the fewest, with only two hung municipalities.

South Africans weary of unstable coalition governments are hoping that the boardroom politics will improve neglected municipalities.

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