Coalition politics and urban governance in Johannesburg’s housing policy

Makgale, Bonolo
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This research was conducted to assesses the nature of coalition government in the Johannesburg Municipality following the 2016 local government election, with a focus on the housing policy and housing provision. A key to understanding the nature of the coalition is to question the rationale behind its formation: was it done to bring more significant administrative and political cohesion or otherwise? The research project agrees with Kotzé (2019) that coalitions are notoriously and inherently tricky, often requiring a balancing act between the interests of parties. Different political ideologies and their impact on possible policy alignment or otherwise are significant contributing factors to the stability or instability of coalition governments. Through a semi-structured interview with members of the Johannesburg Municipality coalition government council and senior political and administrative members of the council, this investigation aimed at answering questions about the nature of the coalition government, coalition government impact on governance, coalition government impact on housing policy and provision and if political, ideological differences might render the city ungovernable and ultimately result to the collapse of the coalition. The researcher noted that the influence of the EFF ‘queen-maker’ status and ability to swing power within the council contributed to the many governance challenges faced by the coalition. A pertinent question remains: who owned the power behind the throne? Was it the EFF or was it former Mayor Herman Mashaba? The rationale behind the formation of this coalition government was essential to maximise power and take power from the ANC but more technically because no party had majority votes that were required to govern the city post the 2016 local government election. The research established that with that rationale in mind this coalition government however faced ideological difference, especially between the two larger political parties in the coalition
A thesis presented in partial fulfilment for the degree of Master of Management in the field of Public Policy to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, 2020