Burnt fingers: DA leader open to coalitions – just not with the EFF
DA leader John Steenhuisen says the 2024 national elections will force political parties to work together because he expects ANC support to continue declining. But he insists the DA will not work with the Red Berets again.
The leader of the official opposition, John Steenhuisen is currently in London where he delivered a speech at Chatham House about the state of politics in South Africa. He is expected to be back in South Africa on Saturday, 2 July.
“I visited [London] to meet with our South African donors, to address Chatham House and to perform oversight at the Home Affairs office and to speak at the South African Chamber of Commerce. I also met the DA Abroad executive committee, hosted a public meeting for South Africans living in London and had a visit with the outgoing High Commissioner,” Steenhuisen said.
In a speech delivered while visiting Chatham House, Steenhuisen noted how a number of coalition governments have functioned efficiently since the 2016 local government elections, when hung councils started to become a prominent feature in South African politics. He told Daily Maverick though that there is no possibility of the party working with the EFF again, like it did in 2016.
“I think the coalitions are remarkably stable and have been able to pass budgets. The political parties involved in them are committed to demonstrating the alternative form of government in South Africa and demonstrating that a post ANC government can deliver.
“Our stance about the EFF has not changed. We believe that realignment has to occur on the basis of the core values of constitutionalism and the rule of law which entails a social market economy that sees the private sector as an integral partner for growth and job creation. We need a capable state free of cadre deployment and re-sized to ensure efficiency and value for money and non racialism. The EFF offer is the antithesis of all these core values which would make a formal coalition with them very difficult,” said Steenhuisen.
After the 2021 municipal elections the EFF voted in DA members to lead in a number of metros including Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg. This despite the DA publicly denouncing the EFF, saying it would rather sit in opposition benches than enter into coalition with it because of what happened after 2016. Their soured relationship resulted in the DA losing power in Joburg and fighting for survival in Tshwane.
📺 Watch DA Leader @jsteenhuisen set out the DA’s alternative to BBBEE.
The DA’s Economic Justice policy focuses on redress for the disadvantaged, not for elites.
Poverty must be the criteria for government assistance and empowerment. Not race-based laws like BBBEE. pic.twitter.com/pSB6W9sryW
— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) June 30, 2022
: 400;”>In his Chatham House speech Steenhuisen said the ANC’s relentless assault on democracy and the non-stop looting of state resources has finally started to outweigh its struggle history, opening the door to new possibilities.
He said local governments with stable coalitions are outperforming those with minority governments, and that those with outright DA majorities fare the best of all.
“In many of the councils they lost, opposition parties came together to unseat them [the ANC]. This has afforded South Africans a valuable opportunity to experience a test-run of a post-ANC South Africa, dominated by coalition politics, before going to the polls again in 2024.
“What’s more, voters who want to make the most informed decision possible can now judge three different types of non-ANC government – those with outright DA governments, those with stable coalitions, and those with less stable minority governments,” he said.
After his oversight visit to the South African consulate in London, Steenhuisen intends to write to Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, to request a meeting. Steenhuisen wants to address concerns around systems digitisation, understaffed offices and the lack of communication with clients.
The DA wants all South African High Commissions to have upgraded systems and to be linked to the online system in SA. This includes a digitised biometric system for scanning fingerprints.
The party says High Commissions are severely understaffed. It also wants an SMS or WhatsApp system to be introduced for efficient communication with clients.
DA Leader, @jsteenhuisen has concluded a successful oversight visit to the Department of Home Affairs office at the South African Consulate in London to determine how consular services can be improved for South Africans living abroad. pic.twitter.com/Gor0oPpks7
— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) June 29, 2022
“The London office of the South African Department of Home Affairs [sic] and its counterparts in China, the US, Europe and Australia are using offline, archaic systems where staff have to take fingerprints and perform other such functions manually.
“Currently, there is a severe lack of communications, with clients not receiving confirmation of receipt of application, progress updates, or notification when their documents are ready for collection,” the party said. DM
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