Clarity on coalitions

John Steenhuisen on why the ANC is not being forced to go into coalition with the EFF


10 Nov 2021

The DA leadership is energetically engaged in coalition negotiations with parties that share our core governing principles. Our objective is to form, wherever possible in the 66 councils where no party won a clear majority, stable and functional DA-led coalitions able to fulfil our manifesto promises.

In the run up to the 2021 Local Government Elections, I set out the DA’s position on coalitions and this has not changed.

  • We are willing to consider a coalition with any parties that share our core principles, which are a commitment to the rule of law, nonracialism, a social market economy, and a capable state. (Commitment to a capable state requires adherence to the principle of separation of party and state and therefore a fulsome rejection of cadre deployment.)
  • We are not under any circumstances willing to go into coalition with the EFF or with the ANC in its current form, because their governing principles are diametrically opposed to ours. Therefore any coalition with them would be unstable and dysfunctional.
  • We would rather be a principled, effective opposition than be part of local governments where we are unable to apply our values and fulfil our manifesto promises.

Some in the commentariat believe the DA should go into coalition with the ANC to keep the EFF out. Yet, the ANC is not forced to go into coalition with the EFF instead. It has the option of forming a minority government, which would have DA support in council for all decisions that it takes in the public interest.

An ANC-DA coalition is not in SA’s best interest.

Having dropped well below 50% nationally in this election, there is now a realistic prospect that the ANC will lose its majority in 2024. This opens up the possibility of a reformist national coalition government after 2024 that could get our economy growing again.

For this to happen though, voters need a crisp choice between ANC-EFF coalitions of corruption on the one hand (packed with corrupt, lawless, socialist, deployed cadres) and DA-led coalitions of clean government on the other (packed with honest, law-abiding, market-oriented, capable public officials).

The DA has also won some strategic municipalities outright – Cape Town, Midvaal in Gauteng, Kouga in the Eastern Cape, and uMngeni in KZN. Our objective over the next three years will be to turn the places we govern – whether outright or in coalition – into shining examples of what is possible when people embrace our core governing principles.

Our relentless focus will be to improve the living conditions of the poorest residents, roll back poverty, spread opportunity, deliver quality basic services, end load-shedding, secure water supplies, grow the local economy, and inspire hope for South Africa’s future.

By 2024, the difference in service delivery between ANC- and DA-run governments will be stark and compelling. It will enable us to consolidate support around our core principles. This is the best shot we have at saving South Africa from its current death spiral.

Issued by John Steenhuisen – DA Leader, 10 November 2021