‘SA too young for coali­tions’


The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Eric Naki er­[email protected]

Com­mu­ni­ties should elect their rep­re­sen­ta­tives, says ex­pert.

The ruc­tion sur­round­ing the coali­tion gov­ern­ments in Jo­han­nes­burg, Tsh­wane and Nel­son Man­dela Bay has made many peo­ple lose hope in a mul­ti­party gov­ern­ment, but all is not lost, says a po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst

Pro­fes­sor Le­siba Teffo be­lieves coali­tions are the fu­ture be­cause they work in all truly demo­cratic coun­tries.

SA’s democ­racy is yet to ma­ture, which is why its coali­tions were mal­func­tion­ing – some­thing that could be blamed on power mon­ger­ing and greed.

He said the right lead­ers needed to be elected, ones who would re­spect the val­ues of be­ing pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives and who served the peo­ple.

Teffo noted the Demo­cratic Al­liance (DA) lost con­trol of Nel­son Man­dela Bay and Jo­han­nes­burg to a coali­tion led by the ANC. The party was on the verge of los­ing Tsh­wane in a sim­i­lar way.

Ob­servers have said the DA de­feats were self-in­flicted and the DA con­ceded that in­fight­ing was an “own goal” af­ter some of its own coun­cil­lors voted with the op­po­si­tion in the may­oral elections in Nel­son Man­dela Bay and Jo­han­nes­burg.

Also, the poli­cies of the coali­tion part­ners of­ten con­tra­dicted each other, like the DA fol­low­ing a cap­i­tal­ist mar­ket econ­omy while the Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers fol­lowed a so­cial­ist ap­proach.

“Maybe it’s too early for [coali­tions] to be suc­cess­ful,” said Teffo.

Coali­tions in democracie­s such as Bri­tain and Ger­many worked be­cause po­lit­i­cal lead­ers knew they were ap­pointed to serve the peo­ple, not them­selves. SA, he said, needed to change its cur­rent elec­toral sys­tem to in­tro­duce a con­stituency sys­tem so that a rep­re­sen­ta­tive was elected di­rectly by the vot­ers and ac­counted to them.

“Coali­tions will not work un­til we change the rules of the game and elect good lead­ers,” he said.

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