ATM open for coalition talks ahead of elections only if ‘South Africans are put first’

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ATM president Vuyolwethu Zungula. (Supplied)
ATM president Vuyolwethu Zungula. (Supplied)
  • The African Transformation Movement (ATM) says the current administration has neglected the plight of the people.
  • Leader Vuyolwethu Zungula says it will take time to change the current status quo.
  • The party has not ruled out working with an opposition party to govern.

The new party on the political block has vowed to change South Africa if given the chance to work with parties that will prioritize the needs of the citizens.

The African Transformation Movement (ATM) led by Vuyolwethu Zungula says it was clear the current administration had neglected the plight of the people. Social issues continued to plague many communities with their problems falling on deaf ears.

Among other burning issues in the country, the party was worried about the rising unemployment rate which affected the majority of South Africans who remain hopeless everyday. 

In an interview with News24 on Sunday, Zungula who’s been on a campaign roll ahead of the local elections said it would take time to change the current status quo in the country and re-build the already struggling economy.

The ATM however says this could be done by parties working together and setting aside their political differences. The party has not ruled out the fact that it could collude with any opposition party to govern, if talks go accordingly.

“Working together with parties must always be based on the premise of assisting the population. We know that when it comes to policies, when it comes to ideologies there will be some similarities but there are certain principles that we can’t compromise,” said Zungula.

Previously, the political movement had its attempt to have a secret ballot dismissed by the Western Cape High Court. The party wanted to review and set aside Parliament's decision to decline a secret ballot on a motion of no confidence in President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The party told News24 it would continue to put pressure on the government to hold it accountable for not living up to its expectations.

It has confirmed that it will be appealing Speaker Thandi Modise’s secret ballot ruling and will ask the High Court for leave to appeal on the previous ruling which blocked their move.

“Unemployment has been shooting up, poverty and inequality has been shooting up SOEs have been failing, crime has been on the increase, therefore if you look at the general performance of the current administration we do not have confidence that it has managed to turn things around for the benefit of our country,” said Zungula.

The ATM has also come out guns blazing saying it won’t mince its words when it comes to a government that needs to put South Africans first over foreign nationals in the employment sector.

“With non-South African citizens, they are easy to exploit especially if they are illegally in the country. So what we have seen as the ATM is that there’s a systematic displacement of black South Africans from the job sector as well as the trade sector," said Zungula.

The party also reacted on the Judge President John Hlophe matter saying much needed to be done to transform South Africa’s judicial system. Hlophe was found guilty of gross misconduct for trying to sway two Constitutional Court judges to rule in favour of former President Jacob Zuma in 2008.

“We may comment thinking we commenting on (the) merit of the Judge Hlophe case only to find that it is what we are saying, now that what is happening to him, perhaps it could be that it is part of an orchestration to deal with some figures who are somewhat not aligned to the current ruling class,” he said.

Zungula says the current judiciary is, “... a compromised and contradicting judiciary”. And that you can’t tell whether judges nowadays interpret the law based on principle and precedent. Or if it’s just politicians masquerading in robes.

Meanwhile, the party says its next objective would be to campaign throughout the country ahead of its upcoming local elections.

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