With efforts to legislate coalitions gathering steam, the IFP has committed itself to cooperating with “any party that shares our values”.
This is following a meeting of political leaders, MPs, academics and civil society who converged at the University of Western Cape to find ways in which coalitions in the country can be managed.
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Outcomes of the discussions would culminate in the submission of a draft bill to Parliament by the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta).
IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa said the party believed that the interests of the citizens should be at the centre of any coalition.
The IFP would like to state for the record that we are willing to work with any party that shares our values and has the goal of improving the lives of the millions of South Africans that battle for survival daily due to poverty, inequality and rampant unemployment.
“Further, the IFP makes the same pledge to future coalition partners as it does to our supporters: you can trust us. The IFP is a party committed to the values of servant leadership and good governance, with a proven track record,” he said.
As things stand, coalitions in the country are not regulated.
Efforts to have coalitions regulated happen amid a sea of problems in municipalities currently run by coalitions.
According to the country’s two largest political parties, the ANC and DA, the higher number of political parties in some coalitions was to blame for some of the failures, particularly in metros such as Johannesburg.
The ANC and DA’s diagnosis of coalition problems in the country has created perceptions that the two political parties were in favour of a law which will exclude smaller parties from participating in coalition governments.
Even though Cogta is yet to officially submit its proposals on the coalition matter to Parliament, there are rumours that the department wants the threshold for participating in coalition parties to be two percent of voter support.
Should the two percent threshold be accepted by Parliament, smaller parties such as Al Jama-ah, whose councillor, Kabelo Gwamanda, is currently the mayor of the Johannesburg Municipality, would be disqualified from participating in a coalition arrangement as a result of the coalition the party has with ANC and EFF in the municipality.
The two percent threshold was being raised at a time when there is speculation that the ANC under President Cyril Ramaphosa could opt to form a coalition with the DA in the event that the ruling party dropped below 50% in next year’s general elections.
On the other hand, the DA is reportedly open to coalition talks with the ANC on conditions that the EFF, which did not attend the University of Western Cape meeting, did not form part of that coalition.
Furthermore, the DA would only pursue a coalition deal with the ANC provided that the ANC’s radical economic transformation (RET) faction was not influential in the ruling party by the time next year’s elections happen.
As things stand, the ANC is being controlled by the Ramaphosa faction, which is also referred to as the CR faction.