gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); ANC in High-Stakes Talks to Form South Africa’s Next Government After Losing Majority – The Zimbabwe Mail

ANC in High-Stakes Talks to Form South Africa’s Next Government After Losing Majority

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JOHANNESBURG,— The African National Congress (ANC) is engaged in crucial internal discussions on forming South Africa’s next government, considering alliances with parties ranging from Marxists to free-marketeers.

This follows the ANC’s loss of its parliamentary majority in last week’s election after three decades of dominance since Nelson Mandela’s historic 1994 victory, which ended apartheid.

Despite remaining the largest party, the ANC, punished by voters for high levels of poverty, unemployment, inequality, crime, power cuts, and corruption, can no longer govern alone. The party secured 159 seats out of 400 in the National Assembly. The Democratic Alliance (DA), a free-market proponent, won 87 seats; the populist uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) got 58; the Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) claimed 39; and the socially conservative Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) secured 17.

The new parliament must convene by June 16 to elect the nation’s president, likely the incumbent Cyril Ramaphosa, although he may face pressure to resign due to the ANC’s poor performance.

A 27-member ANC working committee met on Tuesday to draft coalition options for the National Executive Committee (NEC) to consider on Wednesday. According to the Daily Maverick, which reported on three internal ANC discussion documents, the preferred strategy is a confidence-and-supply agreement. This arrangement would see the ANC retain executive power, with some positions for the IFP, while the DA controls the Speaker’s seat and key committee roles. The DA and IFP would support the ANC minority government on crucial votes in exchange for policy concessions.

The second-best option involves a coalition government comprising the ANC, DA, and IFP, though it risks alienating ANC supporters and poses challenges in policy alignment. The least favorable scenario is a government of national unity, which includes a wider array of parties but risks instability and potential collapse. This could effectively result in a coalition with the EFF and MK.

An ANC spokesperson declined to comment on the Daily Maverick report.

An alliance between the ANC and either the EFF or MK is considered a “doomsday scenario” by the DA and would likely alarm financial markets and foreign investors. The EFF, led by Julius Malema, a former ANC youth wing leader, advocates for the nationalization of mines and banks and land seizures for redistribution to Black farmers. The MK, which performed strongly in Jacob Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal, also supports nationalizations and land seizures, along with scrapping the constitution and establishing a parliamentary chamber of traditional rulers. The MK is seen by many as a tool for Zuma to seek revenge on the ANC after his 2018 resignation amid corruption scandals.

The DA, presenting itself as a champion of business and free-market economics, opposes the ANC’s Black empowerment measures, arguing they have been ineffective. Despite accusations of representing the white minority, the DA claims that good governance benefits all South Africans.

Inter-party negotiations are expected to be challenging given the vitriolic denunciations of the ANC by opposition parties during the election campaign. – Reuters