DA eThekwini Mayor

EThekwini Municipality Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda. Photo by Gallo Images/Darren Stewart)

Not over yet? Here’s how the ANC may cling on to eThekwini after all…

Sparks are set to fly in the eThekwini council once more on Wednesday – and the ANC may have one last trick up its sleeve to retain power.

DA eThekwini Mayor

EThekwini Municipality Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda. Photo by Gallo Images/Darren Stewart)

The ANC’s prospects of holding onto the eThekwini metro are hanging by a thread, as three major political parties confirmed they would not be backing the 109-year-old institution when the council votes for a new mayor and speaker on Wednesday afternoon. However, it’s quite possible that they could retain control via the back door.

eThekwini latest: How many seats do the parties need to win?

The voting situation in eThekwini is delicate. A party would need 112 votes to earn a majority of the vote, and have their mayoral candidate serve the metro for the next five years. That looks likely to be DA nominee Nicole Graham, who will square off with the ANC incumbent Mxolisi Kaunda.

Now, Kaunda has caused a bit of a stir during his time as mayor. He’s been criticised for carrying on from where Zandile Gumede left off, and even factions of his own party are upset that he’s up for re-election. Indeed, giving Kaunda a second bite of the cherry is what allegedly forced the IFP to collapse their coalition agreement with the ANC.

Can the ANC keep hold of eThekwini?

On Monday, the momentum had shifted against the ANC, and it appeared the voting process would elect a DA Mayor there and then. But wouldn’t you know it, scores of protesters flooded into the council, and managed to get the meeting pushed back to Wednesday. There was also a mysterious power cut at the venue moments beforehand.

While Graham is still expecting to pull off this shock victory, all hope is not lost for the ANC. Just take a look at how many council seats each party and independent candidate has:

  • ANC – 96 seats
  • DA – 59 seats
  • EFF – 24 seats
  • IFP – 16 seats
  • ActionSA – four seats
  • ACDP – two seats
  • All other minor parties and independents – 21 seats

Coalition chaos: ANC might be able to cling on to ETK…

The ANC mayor is just 16 shy of an overall majority. Although they won’t be able to count on the backing of the DA, EFF, IFP, ActionSA, or ACDP, it’s quite possible that they could turn to a number of representatives from the smaller parties – like the Active Citizens Coalition, or African Transformation Movement – to form a voting bloc.

The DA’s choice for mayor, supported by the more established parties named in that list, can only get up to 105 seats – and they also require a further seven councillors to help get Nicole Graham elected.

Essentially, this battle will come down to the ‘small fries’ of our election. The 21 councillors must decide if they want to usher in a seismic change in eThekwini, or keep the status quo in place. Either way, this one’s going down to the wire.