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WATCH: The pros and cons of minority governments

20 August, 10:49 AM

How mature is South Africa's democracy? Beatie Hofmeyr* says South Africa is not (yet) a very mature democracy when it comes to the number of minority governments.

She says minority governments (rather than coalition governments) encourage parties to seek agreement, at least with the majority view.

In other words, if a minority government were in place in an area where the neither the DA nor the ANC has an outright majority, the parties must negotiate issue-by-issue.

Hofmeyr argues minority governments foster "a relatively unstable government but what it does lead to in divided societies is the need to form consensus" with parties that together represent most voters.

While some opposition parties have formed an agreement (or, coalition) the EFF has abstained from coalitions with the DA or ANC. 

On Wednesday, EFF leader Julius Malema insisted the party will participate as a minority that retains its autonomy in local government councils.

Watch for more on minority governments.  


*Beatie Hofmeyr is a national manager for the Education and Training Unit (ETU) for Development and Democracy, which informs civil society about levels of government. She was an observer for the ANC at the Indepenedent Electoral Commission (IEC) results centre in Tshwane during the 2016 municipal elections. Hofmeyr spoke to News24's Erin Bates in her capacity as a manager at ETU (more here).


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