Parties seeking partners to help slice into ANC cake
With electioneering in full swing, opposition party leaders have made it known that they are willing to enter into coalitions should there be no outright winner after the May 8 elections.
Parties have spoken of their desire to band together to either remove the ANC from power or to help it rule in exchange for powerful positions.Political analysts have warned that coalitions cause many problems and slow decision-making.
Analyst Mcebisi Ndletyana said coalitions were disruptive in nature, while another political commentator, Ongama Mtimka, said they delayed decision-making when it came to implementing policies and passing budgets.
“They collapse. There are disagreements and that’s what you have when there’s a coalition, and if there’s one at national level you’ll have a similar thing,” Ndletyana said.
Mtimka said:“Decision-making suffers big-time in coalitions and that is because there are a lot more variables to consider. Budgets are delayed, policies are delayed. Coalitions don’t work as far as decisions are concerned.”
A third analyst, Somadoda Fikeni, said fighting between the EFF and DA had shown that coalitions could go wrong.
“Two of the largest opposition parties – the EFF and DA – have shown how coalition politics can go wrong,” Fikeni said.
Their comments come after DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who was in Nelson Mandela Bay on the campaign trail on Tuesday, said he wanted a coalition that would assist in removing the ANC from power after the general elections.
While in the city during the UDM’s manifesto launch at the Wolfson Stadium, party president Bantu Holomisa said he was willing to enter into a coalition with the ANC, provided he was given the deputy presidency.
Ndletyana said opposition parties were talking coalitions in the hope that they picked up enough support at a national level because currently the ANC dominated with the largest number of supporters .
“The parties are not conceding defeat but rather they are hopeful that they will eat into the ANC support and they will grow to a point where they will deny the ANC an outright majority,” Ndletyana said.
Meanwhile, a poll on voter trends by the Institute of Race Relations has predicted that the ANC would get between 55% and 60% in the national election.
Ndletyana said the opinion polls gave the ANC a fighting chance at winning, which he attributed to the popularity of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Mtimka said:“The opposition parties are estimating that the ANC’s support will decline and that the support base would be received by some of them.
“It’s better for them to communicate their intentions to form coalitions. It makes the supporter aware that a coalition is part of the option that was given for whoever they voted for.
“Nationally, I think the ANC is going to receive a majority but you may find those bargaining positions shared by Holomisa, they could still play those demands and say give us the deputy presidency at a national level and we will give you Gauteng.
“I’ve also seen a similar message from the EFF because they’ve been saying it’s possible for Malema to be president, which makes me think that part of their game plan is to use that as a bargaining position for Gauteng,” Mtimka said.