MISTRA Coalitions Barometer 2021 – 2023

Published April 2024

The MISTRA Coalitions Barometer 2021–2023 takes stock of coalition politics in South Africa at a local level for the period between the local government elections in 2021 and a cut-off point, for the current edition, of mid-2023.

The 2021 elections (LGE2021) were characterised by an unprecedented number of hung municipalities, which had risen from 27 in the preceding 2016 local elections (LGE2016) to a record approximately 70 hung metropolitan and local municipalities across South Africa’s nine provinces. With many observers and experts surmising that these results showed the entrenchment of coalition politics in South Africa, including at the provincial and national levels, it became imperative for MISTRA as a policy think tank to undertake a project aimed at tracking contemporary coalition governance and party-political practice as they unfold in South Africa – with a local focus for the time being. The core objectives of the project are to understand the unfolding practice and to use the knowledge gained to propose avenues for improvement.

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