CoGTA Minister welcomes introduction of Coalition Bill

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Thembi Nkadimeng, has welcomed the introduction of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Bill, 2024, also known as the Coalition Bill. 

This is after the department gazetted the Coalition Bill on Tuesday, which provides a legislative framework to guide the formation and the management of coalition governments. 

The Bill also provides systems to minimise the challenges of coalitions within the local government sphere. 

“The Bill comes because of a public outcry for a framework, or guidelines or legislation, which was given rise to by the maturing democracy and increased number of hung councils, from 24 in the year 2000, to the recent 81 municipalities affected post the 2021 Local Government Elections.” 

The increased number, according to CoGTA, signalled the need to strengthen coalition governance to address challenges related to poor governance, service delivery and instability in municipal councils.  

The amendments to the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (“the Structures Act”) is seen as a vehicle or mechanism within which the coalition governments can be institutionalised to address challenges in hung councils. 

“In essence, the Bill seeks to amend the Structures Act, to provide for a definition of ‘coalition agreement’ to compel political parties to enter into a written and negotiated binding agreement between parties that form a coalition government in a municipality in which no political party has a majority of seats in council,” the department said

CoGTA believes that the Bill will be able to address resolve towards mitigate the governance challenges related to “unscrupulous manipulation” by parties less represented in the council. 

The department also noted coalitions incentivised by promises of senior positions or outright bribes with little thought on the impact of the same on the municipality and its ability to deliver services.

They also cited the infighting in councils characterised by walkouts, resulting in “inquorate” councils failing to execute their legislated mandate and inability to make key appointments and adopt budgets and policies, resulting in an administration that cannot spend its budget to address service delivery backlogs. 

“These challenges have a direct impact on society, in particular when a municipality fails to uphold its obligations, which in turn, has repercussions ripple throughout its jurisdiction, affecting the lives and livelihoods of local residents,” said Nkadimeng.

As CoGTA moves forward with the legislative process for this Bill, Nkadimeng encouraged all stakeholders to actively engage and provide valuable input to strengthen local government structures. 

The department is inviting the public to provide inputs on the Bill, with the view to address the present implementation gaps and challenges being experienced within the local government sector. 

Written submissions or comments may be submitted to the Department of Cooperative Governance at by no later than 5 July 2024.

Comments can also be posted to the department’s Director-General Nhlamulo Mathye, Department of Cooperative Governance, Private Bag X804, PRETORIA, 0001. –