sihle zikalala

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala Photograph: Premier’s Office

Zikalala: ‘Voters want political parties to work together’

‘The people have spoken and declared that there should be no outright winner’ – KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala at a media briefing on Monday.

sihle zikalala

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala Photograph: Premier’s Office

Voters had declared that there should be no outright winner in the local government elections which meant that they wanted political parties to work together to govern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala said on Monday.

Zikalala was speaking at a media briefing on the recent developments in the province following the local government elections in which the ANC won 41,45% of the vote. The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) obtained 26,46% of the vote, followed by the DA which got 11,42% and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which won 8,49%.

“The people have spoken and declared that there should be no outright winner. This is a clear message that they want political parties to work together, through the democratically process of co-governing KwaZulu-Natal,” Zikalala said.

Zikalala urges political parties to ‘be united’

“We would like to appeal to all political parties to be united and work together. We must never lose sight of the fact that we have a province to develop, and a country to grow. This is something that no political party can achieve in isolation from the rest of society,” he said.

He said there had been a few “unpleasant scenes” in which people had been seen toyi-toying and demanding keys to certain buildings. 

“Others were engaging in other forms of provocation. These were accompanied by insults hurled at municipal officials who are public servants and not politicians.  We wish to remind all citizens that public servants are employed in line with the relevant legislation governing employment in South Africa including the Labour Relations Act. They must be allowed to discharge their duties without any interference or victimisation,” he said.

“We live in a constitutional democracy, which is underpinned by the rule of law. The Constitution envisages and demands that political transitions must always take place in a manner that is smooth, democratic and procedural.  While it is natural for people to want to celebrate victory, none must do by infringing on the rights of others and at the risk of polarising other sections of society,” Zikalala said.

He said that after the elections, 20 local municipalities and one metropolitan district had to be co-governed by different political parties. 

“We do not as yet know which of the 10 districts will fall in this category. All the relevant democratic processes to achieve this transition are currently underway.  We want to emphasise that until these processes have been completed and new councils are sworn in all the currently constituted structures remain in place,” he said.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will publish the 2021 local government results in the Government Gazette on Monday.

Meeting and election deadlines for local councils

He said that the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs had set up a programme and support plan to ensure that all councils were re-constituted as required by the Constitution.

“As soon as political parties have concluded their processes, COGTA will work with all affected municipalities to reconstitute the councils and facilitate the election of office bearers. As per the requirements of the Municipal Structures Act, we have a plan in place to ensure that all municipalities meet the legal deadline which requires them to reconstitute themselves within 14 days after the gazetting of election results by the IEC,” Zikalala said.

The IEC declared the results on 8 November 2021, which means that these municipalities must be constituted by the 23of November 2021.  District Municipalities are required to convene fourteen days after the last local municipality in that district, constitutes itself. This means that District Municipalities will be constituted at different intervals, however the last date for such constitution is the 7 December 2021.

Zikalala said that all municipal managers had supplied dates and venues for the inaugural meetings. 

“These dates may change in some instances depending on the readiness of political parties, however all local municipalities should have completed their first meetings by the 23 of November 2021. The only instances where local municipalities may go beyond this date is when there is a need to postpone the meeting in cases where the election of one or more office bearers results in a tie,” he said.

In the event of a tie at the second meeting, the result is then determined by the drawing of a lot.