Political parties in Knysna are currently busy with coalition talks after local government election results on Friday revealed that the municipality had become a hung council.
While the DA managed to garner 49.61% of the vote, it was not enough to secure it the outright majority it had obtained in 2011. The party was allocated 10 seats. The ANC received 32.14% of the support and was allocated seven seats. The Congress of the People, the Knysna Unity Congress, the African Christian Democratic Party and an independent candidate obtained one seat each.
DA manager for the southern Cape Jaco Londt said coalition agreements were currently under way with the parties that received a seat each.
“We are hoping that they would take into account the progress we (the DA) had made while governing Knysna over the past five years,” Londt said.
In the meantime, the party’s mayoral candidate, Eleanore Bouw-Spies, was cautiously optimistic about the future.
Should talks go her way, it will not be the first time Bouw-Spies has donned the mayoral chain. She was the ANC mayor for Knysna from 2007, following a floor-crossing window, until 2011 when the DA won n outright majority during the previous local government elections. She then joined the DA when she announced that she would be running for the Ward 5 seat, which includes Rheenendal and Brenton-on-Sea, after the party’s councillor for the area, Magda Williams, died in April 2014.
She added that once talks had been concluded, she planned on hitting the ground running.
She said the party had set a good track record in terms of governance since 2011 and she wanted to continue the momentum during the next term.
The plan included the four pillars of job creation, stomping out corruption, bettering services and providing better governance.
“One of the first priorities is going to improve our communication with residents, as this would form a good foundation to build on,” she said.
She added that she would take a “hands on” approach to leading the municipality. “As a ward councillor I’ve come to know the importance of really being involved with my community. I also want good cooperation between councillors and myself. It is so important to be plugged into your community as mayor and a way to do this is through a good relationship between the mayor and the various councillors.”
ANC southern Cape secretary Major Sokopo said the party would also start with coalition talks.
– African News Agency (ANA)