Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa has reportedly taken a swipe at opposition parties for publicly “boasting” that they will not enter into coalitions with his ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.
The ANC, which nationally has enjoyed an absolute majority for two decades, will have to be forced into coalitions with some of its main rivals after the 2021 municipal elections last week left over 60 municipalities hung across the country.
The ruling party won 46% of the ballots, down from 54% in the last municipal elections five years ago.
Lack of service delivery and alleged corruption, resulting in bad governance were some of the reasons that led to the ANC’s bad performance.
Opposition parties have indicated their unwillingness to engage in coalition talks with the ANC.
Addressing an ANC post-election event in Soweto on Monday, Ramaphosa put up a brave face on his party’s worst election showing in history, denying that it constituted a defeat.
“A number of parties are going around boastfully saying they will not work with the ANC. But who said we want to work with them? We are not on our knees. If, comrades, we have to be in opposition benches, then we will be in opposition,” SowetanLIVE quoted Ramaphosa as saying.
A defiant Ramaophosa said that his party was not discouraged by the results.
“We are not discouraged by the results, because we are not defeated,” he said to applause from party members gathered at a University of Johannesburg campus hall, according to AFP.
Ramaphosa said the ANC was not begging for coalition partnerships and would be strategic regarding who it worked with.
He said that if agreements could not be made, a rerun of elections in those hung municipalities could be forced, Times Live reported.
Responding to Ramaphosa’s remarks, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deputy president, Floyd Shivambu tweeted: “Anc and Ramaphosa calling for re-run of elections is like this boxer here … saying he can fight on when down and out! We know chicken audacity when we see it: bring on the re-run of elections and you’ll be off the political surface! It looks like you haven’t heard voters!”
Anc and Ramaphosa calling for re-run of elections is like this boxer here👇🏿👇🏿👇🏿 saying he can fight on when down and out! We know chicken audacity when we see it: bring on the re-run of elections and you’ll be off the political surface! It looks like you haven’t heard voters! pic.twitter.com/bgBDZW483e
— Floyd Shivambu (@FloydShivambu) November 9, 2021
The EFF’s official Twitter account echoed Shivambu’s views, as it tweeted that it had no doubt that it would “finish off” the ANC at the polls.
“If we go for a re-run in municipalities as Ramaphosa suggests, we have no doubt that we will finish them off,” read the tweet.
If we go for a re-run in municipalities as Ramaphosa suggests, we have no doubt that we will finish them off. pic.twitter.com/0Ewc8XHjOR
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) November 9, 2021
According to News24, former minister Jeff Radebe, who is part of the ANC’s negotiators leading the coalition talks, said the law was clear on the way forward if parties could not form coalitons.
“Legislation is very clear; if it’s impossible to have the council meeting then the provincial government will take over that municipality through the provincial department of Cogta and within 90 days they will be forced to have a rerun of the elections in those municipalities,” he reportedly said.
The DA, ActionSA, and the GOOD party have all indicated that they would not be aiding the ANC in its efforts to try and gain control in the 66 municipalities where a clear majority was not achieved by any party.
Picture: Getty Images
Compiled by: Reginald Nhlapo