South Africa's main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and the radical leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will not form coalition governments in two key municipalities, a DA party executive said on Wednesday.
Since the ruling African National Congress (ANC) lost its majority in major municipalities this month, in its worst electoral performance since it came to power at the end of apartheid, South Africa's main parties have been attempting to assemble coalitions.
Failure to reach alliances in Johannesburg and Tshwane, which includes the capital Pretoria, could lead to policy paralysis and dampen investor confidence in two of South Africa's economic hubs, analysts say.
"The EFF decided it didn't want to go into coalitions with the DA or the ANC," James Selfe, who has led the DA's coalition negotiations, told Reuters.
An EFF spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said the party would make an announcement later on Wednesday.
The DA does, however, expect to be able to form minority governments in the two urban districts with the tacit support of the EFF.
"We are confident they will support us to form minority governments in Johannesburg and Tshwane," Selfe said.
But he said the DA would be able to form a coalition government in Nelson Mandela Bay, which includes the manufacturing hub Port Elizabeth, and several other municipalities without the support of the EFF.
The DA, which is pro-business and has a largely white support base, has a sharply different political ideology to the EFF, which wants to nationalise mines and banks and redistribute land from whites to blacks without compensation.