'Talks continue, FedEx will decide', says DA on coalition proceedings

11 June 2024 - 17:17
By Sisanda Mbolekwa
Democratic Alliance national spokesperson Solly Malatsi announced the resolutions of the party on Tuesday.
Image: Freddy Mavunda/Business Day Democratic Alliance national spokesperson Solly Malatsi announced the resolutions of the party on Tuesday.

The DA federal council has announced its endorsement of federal leader John Steenhuisen and the party's negotiating team to continue with talks to consolidate government at national and provincial levels where there are hung legislatures.

The party's council affirmed the mandate of the team, saying it would continue with the process in order to safeguard the constitution, ensure stability and generate economic growth.

National spokesperson Solly Malatsi said the council recognised the work done by the negotiating team — composed of federal council chair Helen Zille, federal chair Ivan Meyer, Western Cape premier Alan Winde, chief whip Siviwe Gwarube, former party leader Tony Leon and strategist Ryan Coetzee — in line with the affirmation of its federal constitution.

Zille, often the focus of controversy, led the DA to its best electoral showing 10 years ago, when the party won 22%. It won just less than that last month. 

Political analyst Sanusha Naidu told Sunday Times that those on the DA team understood what negotiation strategy was now required, and what compromises they might need to make.

This follows the ANC NEC resolution to formulate a government of national unity 

The former ruling party has been forced to find power-sharing partners after its dismal 40% showing in the elections, is insisting on a “minimum programme” that its negotiators have presented to potential GNU members.

The party is asking its potential partners to commit to protecting the constitution and the rule of law — something with which the DA has no argument. Some of elements of the minimum agreement include:

  • protecting the social security network;
  • improving health and education systems;
  • ending load-shedding;
  • growing the country’s mining industry and infrastructure networks;
  • restructuring SOEs; and
  • promoting equitable land ownership.

Malatsi said the negotiating team will continue to engage in discussions which will have to be ratified by the party's federal executive (FedEx).

"The DA continues to engage with other parties with the aim of forming stable governments that can ensure a better tomorrow for all of South Africa’s people," he said.

"The party’s federal executive will make the final decision relating to coalitions and the formation of governments at national and provincial levels."