LISTEN | Electing a president, ANC in opposition – what’s next in SA’s coalition government?

01 June 2024 - 20:21
By Bulelani Nonyukela
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s job is on the line, says Prof William Gumede.
Image: Getty Images/Chris McGrath President Cyril Ramaphosa’s job is on the line, says Prof William Gumede.

Discussions on electing a president and a new government must be completed in the next two weeks.

Democracy Works Foundation chairperson Prof William Gumede says an “outlier” coalition government without the ANC is possible.

The party that ushered the country into democracy and freedom, and independently governed South Africa for the past 30 years, will need an alliance with another party or other parties to make up the 10% support it lacks to meet the threshold to remain in government.

The ANC garnered 40% of the vote in the 2024 national elections with just over 6.3-million votes. Its loss in support has been attributed to former president Jacob Zuma’s new MK Party and voters' dissatisfaction with the "glorious liberation movement".

It's not a given that the party with the majority will anchor a coalition government. Gumede says President Cyril Ramaphosa’s job is on the line, and coalition partners will come with demands.

The MK Party has made it clear it will not work with an ANC which has Ramaphosa at the helm of the government.

Last year the DA signed a pre-election agreement with smaller parties with a common goal of toppling the party of Nelson Mandela. Its Multi-Party Charter partners, such as the IFP, Freedom Front Plus, ACDP and ActionSA, lagged far behind in voter support and did not reach double-digit margins to make up the more than 50% needed to form a government.

DA leader John Steenhuisen pledged loyalty to the charter after its partners' disappointing results. The parties are expected to meet soon.

At the IEC national results operation centre PA leader Gayton McKenzie suggested the ANC be excluded from a new government.

Gumede spoke to us about the prospects of a coalition without the ANC and the negotiations for President Ramaphosa’s job.