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DA’s moonshot woes – ditch the ‘big brother mentality’ before we buy into plan, say parties

DA’s moonshot woes – ditch the ‘big brother mentality’ before we buy into plan, say parties
John Steenhuisen celebrates after being elected leader at the DA Federal Congress in Midrand on 2 April 2023. (Photo: Supplied)

The DA’s moonshot plan has not been received well by all political parties. Some believe coalition talks between parties should be based on equal partnership.

The UDM and ActionSA are among the political parties that have flagged problems with the manner in which the DA announced its moonshot plan to keep the ANC and EFF from governing the country. 

Speaking to Daily Maverick, ActionSA chairperson Michael Beaumont said the one issue was that the DA was giving the impression that it would be leading these discussions. He argued that it is not possible for any political party to take the lead at this point seeing that the outcome of the 2024 elections is unknown.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Political coalitions are South Africa’s future yet cooperation and shared objectives between parties remain allusive

ActionSA is among the parties the DA has invited for a meeting at the end of May to discuss the plan. 

“We have responded to the invitation because this is an important initiative we have to be a part of. The only issue is that there are misgivings about the announcement being made at the DA congress,” Beaumont said.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa wrote to newly elected DA federal leader John Steenhuisen, asking the DA to refrain from using other parties as “pawns and cherry-picking those with whom they wish to form an alliance and reject others”.

In the letter, dated 4 April 2023, Holomisa says that while the UDM is willing to be a part of engagements, the DA has to get rid of its “big brother mentality”.

The DA has faced backlash from its existing coalition partners at local level for being “arrogant”. The party has, since 2016, been accused of choosing the wrong approach when working with smaller political parties and failing to have thorough consultations when decisions have to be made. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: Coalitions – or the DA’s art of the impossible ahead of 2024 elections

Steenhuisen, who made an announcement on Sunday about coalitions during the party’s congress, believes it is a realistic prospect that the ANC will drop below 50% in the 2024 national election, which will allow the DA to play a part in ensuring it does not govern.  

He explained the plan which would ensure that smaller parties are able to come together and prevent the ANC and EFF from forming a coalition at national level. The first phase of what he called the “moonshot” involved the DA rebuilding internal cohesion, discipline, systems and policy, which Steenhuisen believes has been largely successful.

Steenhuisen berated the EFF, declaring it  political enemy number one. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Paddy Ross says:

    The minnow parties need to look in the mirror and ask themselves how many seats they have in a municipality. The party with the most seats should set the agenda for any coalition but listen to the contributions of their coalition colleagues. The minnows should stop trying to ” wag the dog” and acknowledge that the voters preferred the policies of other parties.

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    There has to be black representation for any DA coalition plans to work.
    The DA is too male and pale to fight the battle ahead.
    Joint leadership with a black female is the answer staring us in the face…unless there is something we’re not being told!

  • Glyn Morgan says:

    A very shallow article.

  • Geoff Krige says:

    Exactly right. If the colonial leadership (colonial in colour and in attitude) of the DA had been kicked out years ago we would possibly have a viable opposition today. Maimane. DeLille. Mashaba. And many more. And still (watch this space) the DA will alienate smaller parties by always insisting it’s policies rule, and it’s people have top say

  • Eddie Maulson says:

    We have a country to rescue ftom impending disaster. The official opposition comes up with a possible solution definitely worth considering. It is met with a cacophony of negativism. Disheartening to say the least. How about a focus on the positive and get this place functioning as it could. The warts can then be addressed later.

  • William Stucke says:

    “talks between parties should be based on equal partnership”

    Yes, Obviarsely, Mr Steenhuisen, my one Council seat is easily as valuable as your 99 seats. I *DEMAND* to be de Speaker.

    (Facepalm)

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