SOUTH AFRICA'S FUTURE
Grand Coalition 2024? Veterans League’s Snuki Zikalala suggests DA is better partner for ANC
A reliance on coalitions could signal that the ANC is not confident in winning future elections outright, the party’s Veterans’ League said after weekend-long lekgotla.
As political parties gear up for the 2024 national elections, ANC Veterans’ League convenor Snuki Zikalala believes the governing party should look at the grand coalition model. This would see the ANC working with the DA instead of the EFF.
“I think that the EFF is done,” Zikalala said. “The only issue is that there is a red line with the DA. Their issue is that of racism. So if they are able to sort this out, then maybe we could work with them.”
Zikalala was speaking at the sidelines of a media briefing held by the league’s interim leadership on Sunday, 16 April, in Sandton following a weekend-long lekgotla.
The ANC has been working closely with the EFF in the past few months on an attempt to unseat the DA from power in Gauteng municipalities.
So far, the ANC-EFF marriage has succeeded in removing DA mayors in Ekurhuleni and Joburg. It failed in Tshwane but is still working on affecting change in Mogale City.
Read more in Daily Maverick: DA death knell sounds in Mogale City as ANC-EFF partnership juggernaut steams onwards
The DA, meanwhile, believes it likely that the ANC will secure less than 50% of the vote in the 2024 national election. It has been trying to form a “moonshot pact” to ensure that smaller parties are able to come together and prevent the ANC and EFF from forming a coalition at the national level.
The first phase of what the DA’s John Steenhuisen calls the “moonshot” has involved rebuilding internal cohesion in the party, discipline, systems and policy. He believes this has been largely successful.
The DA has not, however, discounted the possibility of working with the ANC.
Ringing alarm bells
The Veterans’ League’s declaration raises alarm bells about the state of coalition politics in South Africa. The league made it clear that the ANC should focus on winning elections rather than accepting the idea of dropping below 50%.
“The lekgotla considered the challenges of dysfunctional municipalities as well as the current political instability facing some municipalities, especially in metros,” the league said. “It was concerned about coalitions being formed without adherence to principles or the imperative to deliver services to our people.
“It was further concerned that reliance on coalitions will signal that we are not confident in winning future elections as the ANC.
“Instead, the Veterans’ League believes that a renewed and strengthened ANC must be capable of outrightly winning elections and, if we do not succeed, any political arrangement must be guided by a principled commitment to deliver to the people,” the league said.
The lekgotla considered proposals to be presented to the ANC to renew the party in respect of elections, consequence management, constitutional amendments and modernisation.
There is also a process underway to consider constitutional amendments to the governing party’s constitution. This would be adopted at the national conference and enable the renewal of the Veterans’ League itself.
The lekgotla “acknowledged that the most significant role that veterans can play in the renewal of the ANC is to support and enable the reconnection of the ANC with the masses of our people through concrete programmes of action focusing on local service delivery issues,” the league’s declaration reads.
The national task team “has an active policy committee” considering issues facing both the country and veterans. These include the energy crisis, service delivery issues and the welfare of veterans. DM