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By Eric Naki

Political Editor


Coalition possibilities: ANC, EFF spells chaos

The ruling party had better choose its future partners very carefully, the expert said.


If the ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) form a coalition after next year’s election, in which even the ANC expects to lose its outright majority, the partnership could be a “recipe for anarchy”, says a political analyst. The ruling party had better choose its future partners very carefully, the expert said, as the Democratic Alliance (DA) is the best coalition partner it could choose for state functionality. North-West University political scientist Professor André Duvenhage said an ideal coalition for South Africa would be between the ANC and DA, but such a partnership would be rejected by many within the…

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If the ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) form a coalition after next year’s election, in which even the ANC expects to lose its outright majority, the partnership could be a “recipe for anarchy”, says a political analyst.

The ruling party had better choose its future partners very carefully, the expert said, as the Democratic Alliance (DA) is the best coalition partner it could choose for state functionality.

North-West University political scientist Professor André Duvenhage said an ideal coalition for South Africa would be between the ANC and DA, but such a partnership would be rejected by many within the governing party because it would be viewed as conservative.

Radical coalition

Instead – and unwisely so – the ANC would rather go for a more radical coalition with the EFF; a partnership that could see anarchy and further polarisation in the country.

Another analyst, Sandile Swana, said the ANC was already exploring its future partners, especially in Gauteng, where it was likely to lose next year.

But Duvenhage insisted the DA was an ideal coalition partner at national level. “The best case scenario is a moderate ANC aligning themselves with the DA, creating functionality, not marginalisation of the minority groups in South Africa; using their skills for the benefit of all South Africans, but I am concerned that is too conservative for the ANC. “They would rather go with the more radical line of the national democratic revolution and its implementation in terms of the black radical ideology,” he said.

Such an approach would mean more polarisation at the highest level that may be accompanied by conflict and even stagnation. “You can read the alliance of the ANC with Russia in that context,” Duvenhage said.

READ MORE: Will ANC-EFF coalition fast-track Malema’s ambitions to be head of state in 2029?

Bigger picture

The bigger picture was concerning for the country, particularly from the state perspective. South Africa was in a real crisis and the ANC support base was eroding.

“It has now reached a critical point where an absolute majority is impossible for the ANC. If I were to be asked, I would go for no absolute majority as the more likely scenario,” Duvenhage said.

Central to the ANC’s failures to impact its electoral performance was load shedding, poor service delivery on social services, including housing and water provision to the poor, and the high unemployment rate. The second aspect that would worsen its downward spiral was its internal squabbles, along with the Ace Magashule factor.

Duvenhage said the EFF’s strategy was to put the ANC under such pressure that the two parties forming an alliance would be its only option.

The EFF would work to ensure the ANC dropped to below the 45% mark, which would force it to seek partnerships in order to reach 50%-plus. In that case, the likes of Magashule, the ANC’s former secretary-general who was expelled from the party, could reappear as player, probably under the EFF banner, which would help resuscitate his career.

Bleak prospects

Swana said the ANC faced bleak prospects in Gauteng, but it already knew who it would form partnership with. “The ANC has methods of enticing more partners to themselves because the UDM [United Democratic Movement] and ActionSA wouldn’t want to be in an anti-ANC partnership that is led by the DA.

“The statistics from the IEC [Electoral Commission of South Africa] from 2016 show the ANC is not going to govern in SA until Jesus comes back,” Swana said.

“Those who are realistic, rather than romantic, inside the ANC are now ready to co-govern.”

Duvenhage said unfortunately President Cyril Ramaphosa was “the wrong person at the wrong time to deal with the challenges facing the ANC at the moment”. – ericn@citizen.co.za

ALSO READ: WATCH: Voting for ANC or EFF ‘will make collapse of Zimbabwe look like a dress rehearsal’ – Steenhuisen

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