WRAP | Here's what the major political parties are looking for in a coalition

10 November 2021 - 08:00
By Unathi Nkanjeni
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says his party is not desperate to enter into coalitions. File photo.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says his party is not desperate to enter into coalitions. File photo.

Several political parties have laid out strict non-negotiable coalition conditions after the recent local government election results in which parties failed to get an outright majority in many municipalities.

No party achieved a majority in 66 councils. Political parties have two weeks to embark on coalition talks before councils are dissolved. 

Here is what some political parties have said about coalitions:

ANC’s coalition will be like ‘marriage’

President of the ruling party Cyril Ramaphosa said the ANC won’t go on its knees to beg for coalition support if talks fail. 

Addressing the party’s “thank you” event post elections on Monday, Ramaphosa said the ANC was not desperate and would not enter coalitions at all costs. 

“A number of parties are going around boastfully saying we will not work with the ANC. But who said we want to work with them? It’s OK, we are not on our knees. If we have to be in opposition, then we will be in opposition,” he said.

“We are going to be strategic. Our decision when we enter into any coalition will be principled and political. We don’t want casual arrangements like we’re casually dating. When we enter into a coalition, it will be like a marriage with clear conditions.”

DA not trying to save the ANC

The leader of the official opposition party, John Steenhuisen, said the DA will not form “unstable coalitions” with the ANC, EFF or any party that does not subscribe to constitutionalism, the rule of law and nonracialism.

On Sunday, after a sitting of the DA’s Federal Executive , Steenhuisen said it was not the DA’s job to save the ANC, saying “it’s not what our voters want. It’s not our mission as a party”.

He said coalition negotiations in hung municipalities came with non-negotiable principles.

“We have recommitted ourselves to do what we can to weaken the ANC ahead of the 2024 elections. We want to bring them below 50% in those elections.

“To that end, we will not be entering into any coalition agreements with the EFF, the ANC or any other party that does not subscribe to constitutionalism, the rule of law, a social market economy and a capable state and nonracialism. These are non-negotiable for the DA,” said Steenhuisen. 

EFF has 10 demands and not accepting anything less 

In a two-page statement, the red berets outlined the conditions and deadlines for any party that wants to work with it in the country’s councils.

Among its conditions for partnering with another political party, the party said any strategic partner must appreciate its seven non-negotiable pillars for economic freedom and not “reinforce white supremacy and Afrikanerdom”.

Coalition partners must also be prepared to commit to timelines to resolve service delivery issues such as flushing toilets, water and electricity supply and creating jobs. 

“We call on all who align themselves with the historic duty to restore the dignity of the black oppressed and working class majority to unite. We must come together on the basis of this mission, anchored in selflessness and integrity for the advancement of our country and its people,” said the EFF. 

ActionSA is not desperate to enter a coalition

The leader of the new kingmaker in Johannesburg and Pretoria, Herman Mashaba, said ActionSA was not desperate to enter into coalitions.

Briefing the media, Mashaba said his party was “happy to be in the opposition benches” if it is not able to find coalition partners that are happy to work with them and serve South Africans. 

“If you want to put your political party ahead of serving South Africans, then please don’t talk to us,” said Mashaba.

He called on all parties that want to engage with ActionSA to treat it with mutual respect.

“I want to plead with political parties wanting to engage us on the very important future of this country, please engage us showing mutual respect. It’s very important because we believe very strongly that the only way we can succeed is if we show mutual respect to each other,” he said.

IFP not entering into coalition with ANC in KZN

IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa said the party will not form coalitions with the ANC or any parties that “practice racism or corruption” in KwaZulu-Natal.

 According to Hlabisa, the IFP will not enter a coalition with the ANC because of “dishonesty”. 

“Where we will govern as a leading party in KwaZulu-Natal we will not enter into a coalition with the ANC,” he said. 

“The history of the IFP and the ANC, specifically in KwaZulu-Natal, is not good, and during the election campaign many utterances have been said by the ANC to the IFP. The ANC has not been honest with us in the past. 

“We are not going to entertain any coalition with the ANC. Above all, the people of KwaZulu-Natal were very clear when they rejected the ANC in many municipalities.