‘SA too young for coalitions’
FAILURE: POWER MONGERING, GREED ALSO BLAMED
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.