If ANC loses Gauteng, its best bet is a coalition with DA - ISS analyst

2019-04-26 21:29
Six political parties, ACDP, Al-Jamah, ANC, DA, IFP and EFF, are set to contest the by-election on August 2 for Ward 33.  ~ File

Coalition politics may play a major role in the 2019 elections, and if the ANC loses its majority in Gauteng, its best alliance partner could be the DA, the Institute for Security Studies' (ISS) Dr Jakkie Cilliers believes.

During a panel discussion in Pretoria on Friday on whether the 2019 elections will be the most crucial to date, Cilliers - who is ISS head of African Futures and Innovation - suggested that Gauteng will be a hotbed for alliance politics.

He said that if his projected outcomes of the elections were correct, it would mark the first real change in democratic South Africa, as the current ruling party would be forced to rethink its position and partners. 

According to the predictions made by Cilliers, the ANC will get 48% of the Gauteng vote, while the DA will get 35%, followed by the EFF with 12%.

Nationally, Cilliers believes that the ANC will amass 58% of the vote, the DA 22%, the EFF around 10%, and the remaining parties together will get around 9% of the vote.

'Intense battle of dominance'

If the ruling party loses its majority in Gauteng, there would be a fierce fight within the ANC, Cilliers predicted.

"There will be an intense battle of dominance of the traditionalist and reformist factions of the party [ANC]," Cilliers said.

He explained that the traditionalist faction includes the likes of ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, while the reformist faction is made up of those aligned to ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.

READ: Maimane says the future of SA politics is in coalitions

"In Gauteng, ANC will lose majority, but no party will gain majority, so that’s the start of alliance politics," Cilliers predicted.

He added that, if the reformist faction in the ANC looked towards the long term, a coalition with the DA would be in their best interest.

He also said a growth alliance with the DA would be the best outcome for the ANC and South Africa as a whole. He further argued that, if the ANC loses their Gauteng majority and choses to partner with small political parties in order to govern, it will be to the detriment of the province.

As with a coalition with smaller parties, Cilliers said that an alliance between the ANC and the EFF would not produce a positive growth result for the country.

Track record of coalitions abysmal

Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Andries Nel, who was part of the panel discussion, spoke in his capacity as an ANC member. He cautioned against those who get excited about coalition politics.

"The track record of coalitions has been abysmal," Nel said.

He added that some of the coalitions that have been formed were more focused on the feeding trough and the gathering of votes to maintain majority rule, as opposed to alliances formed on a principled basis.

READ MORE: Maile – If by a miracle the ANC loses, wed rather be an opposition party than a coalition party

"Coalitions based on arithmetic will be unstable and prone to corruption."

Nel singled out EFF leader Julius Malema, without naming him, saying that in the 2016 municipal elections, one leader had said that they would form coalitions with any party except the DA, but then did a U-turn and teamed up with the DA, which resulted in the ANC losing control of a number of metros, including Tshwane and Johannesburg.

Nel said this was an example of unprincipled behaviour in coalition politics.

Find everything you need to know about the 2019 National and Provincial Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections.

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