While local government’s shifting political landscape has been met with a period of introspection by the ANC, the realities and implications of a more pluralistic make-up have already become evident in two local government spaces. The first is Gauteng, where the ANC runs provincial government, but a DA coalition controls two of the province’s three metros. The second is organised local government, which is currently represented by the South African Local Government Association (Salga). There is a delicate balance of power in both cases. When it comes to what have been disparagingly termed "stokvel" coalitions (by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe), the DA has been put under pressure after chaotic scenes unfolded a fortnight ago in Tshwane’s council chambers, leading to (premature) speculation that provincial intervention was imminent. Fortunately, Gauteng co-operative governance MEC Paul Mashatile clarified that there would have to be a far greater degree of dysfunctionality for ...

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