The new binary emerging in South Africa

John Steenhuisen says that even the ANC knows a coalition will govern next year


The new binary emerging in South Africa

4 August 2023

Twelve days to go. Excitement is building ahead of the Multi-Party National Convention for the Moonshot Pact on 16 and 17 August at Emperor’s Palace, where the CODESA negotiations shaped SA’s future thirty years ago.

This follows over three months of constructive engagement between the six parties sending delegates to the convention. These exploratory talks have revealed that there is far more that unites than divides us, including a deep commitment to the rule of law, economic growth for jobs, building a people-first professional public service, building a strong safety net for the vulnerable, and taking a zero tolerance approach to corruption.

Yesterday, our parties were pleased to announce Professor William Gumede as the independent chairperson of the process. Professor Gumede and his advisory team bring wisdom and enormous experience to the table. Our process is in good hands. Together we will lay the foundation for a new multi-party government in 2024 that can start the work of moving South Africa forward again.

Julius Malema’s exhortations to “Kill the boer, kill the farmer” at the EFF rally this weekend showed the urgency and importance of our mission. Where he seeks to divide and destroy, the parties in the Pact talks seek to unite and build. As the ANC inexorably declines, this is emerging as the true binary choice for voters.

Even the ANC knows a coalition will govern next year. This weekend’s Coalition Dialogue is a clear admission of defeat. Our job now is to pull out all the stops to make sure it’s a Moonshot Pact Coalition and not an ANC-EFF-PA Doomsday coalition that enters the Union Buildings next year.

Although nothing is signed and sealed yet, I am confident that the convention will be successful. We have only to look to the historic Service Delivery Pact for improved local government, signed between DA and IFP in KZN two weeks ago, to see that by working with likeminded parties we can make the whole far greater than the sum of the parts.

This wonderful breakthrough paves the way for the Pact parties to offer voters an alternative with a credible pathway to getting into government nationally and in key provinces. The DA needs to be the strong centre of this new government, anchoring it to our core principles. So please ensure your friends and family are registered to vote DA, by directing them to check.da.org.za.

Yours sincerely,

John Steenhuisen

DA leader