South Africa and the con­cept of coali­tion gov­er­nance

African Times - - Leader -

CAM­PAIGN­ING for the 2019 general elec­tions by po­lit­i­cal par­ties – though not of­fi­cially de­clared – is un­der­way. In fact, some po­lit­i­cal par­ties in­clud­ing the ANC, the Demo­cratic Al­liance (DA) and the Eco­nomic Free­dom Fighters (EFF) have al­ready made it known that they have shifted the gear.

The cam­paign has so far shown cracks in the coali­tion be­tween those par­ties that had a pact after the 2016 mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions, most no­tably the DA and the EFF. A glimpse into the man­i­festos of the two par­ties shows no sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween them. The events of the past week in Par­lia­ment and the ut­ter­ances of the EFF over Nel­son Man­dela Bay metro also bear tes­ti­mony.

What is ob­vi­ous is that par­ties in a coali­tion do not each want to be seen to be over­shad­owed by the other.

These has given cre­dence to some schol­ars’ be­lief that coali­tions in po­lit­i­cal cir­cle are highly volatile and un­sta­ble for var­i­ous rea­sons.

South Africa is char­ac­terised by po­lit­i­cal par­ties with di­ver­gent views on per­ti­nent is­sues such as the econ­omy, land re­form and oth­ers.

But the EFF and its once sworn en­emy, the ANC, are seem­ingly find­ing com­mon ground on cer­tain is­sues such as the land ques­tion and the econ­omy. Or is it a ques­tion of the ANC not will­ing to be seen to be in­ef­fec­tive when deal­ing with cer­tain mat­ters de­scribed as “sen­si­tive”?

The re­cent devel­op­ments make an in­ter­est­ing po­lit­i­cal mat­ter to fol­low and we are watch­ing with keen in­ter­est.

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