Deadline for opposition party deal

2010-03-20 22:08

Johannesburg - The Independent Democrats would make a decision on whether to sign unity agreements with other opposition parties within six months, it said on Saturday.

This decision was announced in a resolution issued by the party following its conference in Cape Town which was called to discuss the question of opposition unity.

"The resolution stated that "authority is granted to its National Executive Committee to pursue further deliberations with likeminded opposition parties and conclude any agreement it deems necessary within a period not exceeding 180 days from (the) date of this resolution.

The party said it noted "the combined reports of all its structures in support of its participation in the realignment of opposition politics in South Africa".

Quick but slow

Speaking earlier at the conference, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said the signs were good for taking the relationship between opposition parties to the next level.

The conference was also addressed by ID leader Patricia De Lille, Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota, and United Democratic Movement deputy president Ntopile Kganyago.

Zille said the parties should in their efforts at greater unity move "as quickly as possible, but as slowly as necessary".

"When you are moving beyond coalition politics to alliance politics, you have to make absolutely sure that the partners are compatible," she said.

"It is like moving from dating to marriage. It is useful to have an engagement in between, just to make sure... they are really compatible."

Differences of style

She said the parties would spend the next few months engaging in this part of the process.

"At present, the indicators are good," she said.

She said there were differences between the parties, but they were differences in emphasis, style and the issues they chose to highlight.

"These differences are not so great that they cannot be overcome. And they are not so important that they should prevent us from joining hands to save our democracy."

She said the conference would one day be seen as a key moment in South Africa's history, a "vital step" towards the fundamental realignment of the political landscape.

De Lille told the hundreds of orange-shirted ID delegates that the push for unity was not about convenience, positions or egos.

"It is about building a political force that can hold the government accountable where it really counts - at the ballot box. That for me is the outcome of the process we are starting.

"If we build this formation, formidable opposition formation, the people of South Africa will vote for it."

Trusted partners

Some of the parties represented at the meeting had in the past exchanged harsh words at election times.

"However it is my hope that we can put all of that behind us and work together as trusted partners," she said.

Lekota said the starting point for a united opposition should be short term campaigns, such as the 2011 local government elections.

Victories there would allow them to show demonstrable service delivery to communities, which would lead to greater things.

Political monopolies

In a video message to the conference, social commentator Mamphela Ramphele said she hoped it would mark a new beginning for opposition politics in the country.

South Africans owed it to themselves to make sure that they had strong opposition politics alongside a strong government, she said.

It was also true that monopolies in whatever form or shape were "not very good for you".

In the private sector there were monopolies overcharging people in even such basic areas as food.

"I believe that in the same way that we've got a very beady eye... making sure that private monopolies don't thrive in our economy, we have an even bigger responsibility to make sure that political monopolies don't become the norm in our democracy."
 

- SAPA

NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

DA wants to empower fishing communities - Zille

DA leader Helen Zille says the party has a plan for harbours and small-scale fishing communities.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R5727.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.