Kagiso Trust Twitter Space conversation: The Impact of Coalition Governments on Service Delivery

Kagiso Trust Twitter Space conversation: The Impact of Coalition Governments on Service Delivery

Kagiso Trust Twitter Space conversation: The Impact of Coalition Governments on Service Delivery

Panelists: Tessa Dooms ( Director Rivonia Circle), Mzwanele Mayekiso (CEO: iKwezi Institute for Research) and Paul Smith (Kagiso Trust Local Government Head).

The year 2021 marked a significant turning point in South African politics. It became increasingly evident that many voting areas would be subject to coalition governments. Unlike one-party or two-party democracies, South Africa’s electoral system has given rise to a diverse political landscape where coalitions have become a natural outcome of elections. In this article, we will explore the implications of this shift, its impact on governance, and the voices that are shaping this new era in South African politics.

Tessa, a political commentator, asserts that we should not be concerned about the rise of coalitions in South Africa. On the contrary, she argues that this trend is indicative of a robust democracy. Democracy should be about the participation of many voices, not a fixation on a single president or individual. The diversity of voices in coalitions can lead to more inclusive decision-making and representation of the people.

While coalitions are a positive sign for democracy, some challenges have emerged. The foremost concern is instability. The quality of politicians and their decision-making processes have come under scrutiny. Often, voters are swayed by party brands rather than the individual qualities of candidates. Governance decisions should be made by competent individuals, not just political affiliations.

To address these issues, South Africans need to reflect on the qualities they desire in their elected representatives. Many politicians make decisions without consulting their constituents, highlighting a gap between the political class and the public. Additionally, the politicization of the administration and bureaucracy poses a challenge, which can only be mitigated by strong and principled bureaucracy.

Paul Smith, the Head of Kagiso Trust Local Government, emphasizes that South Africans need to get used to coalitions. Successful municipalities are those where politics do not interfere with administration. The roles of councillors and administrators should be clearly defined, and the bureaucracy should be insulated from political instability.

Voters should prioritize community-centric leaders and be conscious of their intentions when casting their ballots. The relationship between mayors and the bureaucracy should be carefully examined. Exploring models where appointments are not solely at the discretion of mayors, as seen in eThekwini municipality, can help prioritize the will of the people over political deal-making.

Tessa points out the lack of accountability from mayors and councils, a problem often overlooked by citizens. It is the responsibility of the council to ensure that mayoral committees uphold their commitments. South Africans must recognize their power and hold their elected officials accountable.

One glaring issue is the absence of mechanisms to ensure coalition agreements are adhered to. In countries like Sweden, the speaker plays a crucial role in holding politicians accountable for coalition agreements. South Africa lacks such mechanisms, and administrators are often drawn into the political agenda, further eroding accountability.

Mzwanele raises concerns about the concept of coalition government in South Africa. He argues that, given the country’s status as a developing nation with an economy not as robust as European counterparts, coalitions may destabilize governance. This debate underscores the need for careful consideration of the implications of coalition politics on South Africa’s unique socio-economic context.

The rise of coalition governments in South Africa signifies a shift towards a more pluralistic and diverse political landscape. While challenges such as instability and accountability persist, these changes reflect the growing importance of community-centric leadership and citizen empowerment. South Africans must engage in a thoughtful dialogue about the role of coalitions in their evolving democracy, weighing the benefits of inclusivity against the challenges of instability. Ultimately, the future of South African politics will be shaped by the decisions made in this crucial era of coalition governance.

Tags: local news

Our Top Recruiters

Get to know the top recruiters and talent acquisition specialists who are dedicated to helping you find your next career move, freelance gig, or internship opportunity.

Get New Jobs Notification!

Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates. Subscribe to get our latest content by email. We respect your privacy, Unsubscribe at any time.