gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); ANC Forms Coalition with DA, Granting Minority Party Significant Influence in Governance – The Zimbabwe Mail

ANC Forms Coalition with DA, Granting Minority Party Significant Influence in Governance

DA leader John Steenhuisen
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ON the eve of Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration for an uncertain second term as South Africa’s president—a term likely to be marked as a low point for the ANC since 1994—the political landscape is undergoing a dramatic shift.

The white-led opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), is set to gain substantial control within the new coalition government, erroneously referred to as a ‘Government of National Unity’ (GNU).

This development follows the DA securing effective veto power through a controversial pact with the ANC, a move seen by critics as a Faustian bargain.

Jonathan Moyo, a Zimbabwean Political Science Professor, commented on the situation, stating, “The ANC’s decision to enter into this pact with the DA, giving them such significant influence, is inexplicable and appears to be a desperate measure to maintain Ramaphosa’s standing with white monopoly capital.”

The specifics of this power shift are outlined in the ‘Statement of Intent and Modalities’ pact, particularly in paragraphs 18 to 23. These sections detail the decision-making process within the coalition government, emphasizing a principle of ‘sufficient consensus.’

According to the pact: “18. The GNU shall take decisions in accordance with the established practice of consensus. Where no consensus is possible, the principle of sufficient consensus shall apply. 19. Sufficient consensus exists when: 19.1 All parties have had the opportunity to express their views; 19.2 Despite reasonable attempts to resolve disagreements and find common ground, there is no general consensus; 19.3 Parties to the GNU representing 60% of seats in the National Assembly agree; and 19.4 Any party that disagrees has been able to formally record their objections.”



In essence, the coalition government will operate on a consensus basis, but if consensus cannot be reached, a decision will require the agreement of parties representing 60% of the National Assembly’s seats. Given the current political dynamics, the ANC cannot achieve this threshold without the DA’s support, effectively granting the DA veto power.

Professor Moyo elaborated, “By agreeing to the 60% threshold for sufficient consensus, the ANC has essentially given the DA veto power. This means Ramaphosa’s administration will be unable to make significant decisions without DA approval, which is a profound shift in power dynamics.”

This move has sparked widespread concern. “The ANC, historically the first liberation movement in Africa and the last to gain freedom in 1994, has now made history by voluntarily ceding power to a white minority party reminiscent of the apartheid-era National Party,” Moyo remarked.

As the ANC grapples with the implications of this coalition, many in the progressive global south are watching with apprehension. The arrangement not only signifies a potential shift in governance but also raises questions about the future direction of South Africa’s political landscape.

In conclusion, Moyo expressed a sentiment shared by many observers: “It is breathtaking to witness this historic reversal of power.”