South African’s National Liberation Movement

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Policy Documents

Agreement between the ANC and the NNP establishing a developmental Local Government framework to attack poverty and racism in the Western Cape

22 March 2007


The African National Congress and the New National Party have entered into a historical National Co-operation Agreement. This agreement is in the process of being implemented at National and Provincial level. The agreement set out herein is a natural consequence of the National Co-operation Agreement and embodies the co-operation agreement between the New National Party and the African National Congress within the Local sphere of Government.

The African National Congress and the New National Party acknowledges the crisis conditions under which our people are currently suffering i.e. poverty, aids, crime, unemployment, lack of basic services, etc. This crisis is exacerbated by the institutional instability experienced at Municipal Level.

The parties have come to the realization that political co-operation on these matters are the only way to effectively and speedily address these issues. This sets the notion that some issues in life should be above party politics, as these problems cannot be solved by “opposition” but require an honest approach of understanding and co-operation.

Whilst respecting the autonomy and the individual identities of the parties and whilst guaranteeing their right to differ the parties will co-operate with one another in order for Local Government to fulfill its constitutional obligations. This co-operation will be based on the principles of a co-operative partnership as set out hereunder.

The co-operation will take place in terms of an agreed Local Government Policy Framework jointly developed by the parties. This co-operation will be strengthened at Municipal level.

  • Lastly the parties realize that the political partnership between the New National Party and the African National Congress is underpinned by the following core values:
  • Acting in the utmost good faith,
  • Co-operation and mutual respect for each other and their different points of view. and party identity
  • Focusing on the improvement of the plight of our people.
  • Good governance (corruption-free)

The aim of the parties is not only to co-operate on certain agreed critical issues but eventually to co-operate on all matters save in the most exceptional circumstance required by the different parties to retain their own identity. The parties share the vision to move the political focus from a power driven decision making system to an issue driven decision making system based on the agreed values and consensus -seeking.


The agreement is founded on the following principles.

  1. Fair Representation

    The parties agree that all the positions in Local Government be distributed between the parties to achieve a partnership based on fair representation. This means that not only the numbers of posts but also the distribution of portfolios and delegations must be structured in such a manner to achieve a fair distribution of power, proper checks and balances and harmony with the provincial system.

  2. The promotion of institutional stability

    The parties agree that the instability in Local Government is a major cause for concern. A stable and economically viable local government is critical to meet the challenges we face. To this end the parties agree to attend to the reorganization swiftly to bring stability to local government. The parties agree to make use of the expertise and services of their members taking into account the roles they are currently playing in Local Government. The parties agree to speedily see to the review of the reorganization of the administrative structures within the Municipalities, in accordance with the policy framework agreed upon.

  3. Spirit of Consensus

    Both parties commit themselves to promote friendly relationships at all levels. The parties agree to respect the principal of local decision-making. To ensure that such decision-making is conducive to the promotion of this co-operation agreement the parties further agree to implement certain consensus seeking procedures aimed at achieving consensus in decision making. These procedures will be determined by the Joint Policy Task Team, within one month of signing this agreement.


The parties agree that Local Government across the Western Cape must be empowered to ensure good local decision making. This will be achieved by the establishment of the Joint Policy Task Team jointly managed by the New National Party and the African National Congress, who will be responsible to determine an overall policy framework for Local Government in the province. This framework will guarantee the transformation of Local Government and the establishment of delivery priorities and mechanisms to meet the challenges of Integrated Development Programs and Local Economic Development, as well as Institutional Transformation.

The parties agree that towards this end a Joint Policy Task Team will be established comprising senior politicians from the African National Congress and the New National Party, which must immediately commence work on:

  • overseeing the development of an overall policy framework for all the functional areas of local government
  • agreeing to the day one arrangements
  • overseeing legislative amendments towards the types of municipalities including that of an executive mayoral system
  • determining the principles and procedures the parties must comply with in their decision-making processes at local level.

This task team may draw in any required technical expertise.

The parties agree that the Joint Policy Task Team will also play a role in capacitating the local political structures of the municipalities to resolve disputes at local level. The policy framework will include the determination of the short, medium and long term policy and policy development processes.

The parties commit themselves to the implementation of this policy framework in all councils where they co-govern.


The parties agree that the primary duty to promote the principles of consensus seeking Government lies with the parties at Municipal Level. The parties will in the first instance look for local solutions to local problems and will endeavor to solve their problems with ingenuity and local creativity within the ambit and the principles of the Agreed Policy Framework.

To ensure that proper co-operation exists and to ensure that the overall policy framework referred to above is properly implemented, the parties agree that a Provincial Dispute Resolution Committee be established consisting of three representatives of each party. The parties further agree that whenever, after complying with the formal procedures for decision making prescribed by the Joint Policy Task Team, the parties at local level are unable to agree on any matter, the decision on that matter will be left in abeyance for 1 month. If still unresolved after 1 month, or in urgent cases the matter will be referred to the Dispute Resolution Committee for a decision.

The parties further agree that only in the event that the Dispute Resolution Committee cannot agree on a solution, the matter will be jointly decided by Provincial Party Leaderships whose decision will be final.



The parties agree that in the case of the City of Cape Town:

  • An Executive Mayoral, combined with sub-councils and a ward participatory system be implemented.
  • The African National Congress will nominate persons for appointment to the positions of Executive Mayor and Chief Whip.
  • The New National Party will nominate persons for appointment to the positions of Deputy Mayor and Speaker.
  • The Executive Mayor will appoint a mayoral committee consisting of 10 members with portfolios as far as possible similar to the portfolios of the Provincial Cabinet. These posts will be allocated to the parties on the principles set out in this agreement.
  • The minimum executive power to be delegated to the members of the Mayoral Committee will be determined by the Joint Policy Task Team.
  • The Executive Mayor will appoint six members to the mayoral committee nominated by the African National Congress and three additional members nominated by the New National Party.
  • Ten legislative portfolio committees will be established for the City of Cape Town to reflect the portfolios of the Mayoral Committee. The chairpersons to these committees will, be appointed by the party different to the party who appointed the member of the Mayoral Committee for that portfolio. The same principle applies to the appointment of deputy chairs of committees, provided that the ANC and the NNP will nominate an equal numbers of chairpersons to these committees.
  • The system of Sub-Councils will be maintained, expanded upon and re-demarcated. The parties will appoint an equal number of chairpersons to these Sub-Councils. The positions of chairperson and vise chairperson will be shared between the parties.
  • The Joint Policy Forum will advise on the implementation of ward committees.


The provisions set out in Schedule A will be the basis on which the political structures in the non-metro areas will be established.

The principles applying to the structuring and filling of posts in the City of Cape Town will apply to the non-metropolitan municipalities mutates mutandis.

That all other positions within local government are filled through negotiations at Local level in accordance with the principles of a partnership based on fair representation and good governance.

The parties agree that restructuring of Local Government in the Western Cape should as an outcome reflect the co-operation between the NNP and the ANC, inspire hope and unity amongst our people and result in stable Local Government capable of delivering on its mandate.

Duration of Agreement

The parties agree that subject to the National Agreement this agreement will be in place beyond 2005.

Signed on the 20th June 2002 :