Who’s ruling who? An interactive map of the parties running South Africa’s municipalities

After three weeks of arguments and disruptions, all 70 hung municipalities, where no one party won enough of the votes to run the council after the 1 November 2021 local government elections, have managed to form coalitions. 

For the ANC, which had become accustomed to outright majorities, it must have been a difficult time. In the last election, held in 2016, there were 31 hung councils, this year that number more than doubled.

If you look at the map below you can see the ANC still governs most of the local municipalities with an outright majority and in many of the hung councils its candidates were elected mayor. (If you click on a council you can see which party’s candidate was elected as mayor.)

For some hung municipalities the coalition process was difficult. Several missed the 23 November deadline by which councils had to be constituted. 

Modimolle-Mookgophong in Limpopo was the last municipality to elect its mayoral committee on 2 December. The council eventually resorted to a coin toss to decide on the mayor, after four failed attempts at voting, two of which ended in ties. In the end, DA councillor Marlene van Staden was reinstated as mayor. 

The coalition in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in the Eastern Cape, which elected an ANC mayor, already appears to be on shaky ground. News24 reports that opposition parties are trying to oust the newly elected mayor by Christmas.

While in the Free State’s Metsimaholo municipality, mayor Selloane Motjeane, a member of the Economic Freedom Fighters, was told to resign by the party’s leadership, reportedly because she was elected through the support of the ANC. On 3 December, she was replaced by the Democratic Alliance’s Jeff Zwane.   

Kannaland municipality in the Western Cape hit the headlines after the ANC helped to elect the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa’s (Icosa’s) Jeffrey Donson and Werner Meshoa as mayor and deputy mayor. It later emerged that both were convicted criminals and the ANC withdrew its support for Icosa in the municipality.

Want to see how many seats each party has on each municipalities council? See the interactive graphic below:

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