ROAD TO 2024 ELECTIONS
Mac Maharaj, David Makhura to unveil ANC’s first-ever coalition plan at NEC meeting this weekend
The ANC’s National Executive Committee will be presented with the party’s plan for coalition governments when it meets in Ekhuruleni.
The ANC’s head of political education, David Makhura, will outline, in a draft paper, which direction the party will take in the 2024 national elections when the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meets this weekend.
The paper is the first of its kind for the governing party, which has been dealing with coalitions informally since 2016. The decision to look into viable coalition models was taken at the ANC’s 55th national conference, at Nasrec last year.
ANC veteran Mac Maharaj told Daily Maverick the party was not necessarily planning for a coalition. He said it may still get more than 50% of the vote in next year’s elections and there is no need to pre-empt what happens at the polls.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Coalition Country
“I am part of the committee [led by Makhura] that is part of drafting a paper and it will be presented by the ANC National Executive Committee. In that paper we are going to go through the experience of coalitions in this country, the background to these issues and our assessment of the situation.
“We are convinced that if we do the right things, we will be able to win the elections handsomely. Secondly, should the situation arise that is different, our proposal should be examined on the basis of facts at the time. These are processes that are going on and until it is presented to NEC, I cannot pre-empt,” he said.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Political coalitions are South Africa’s future yet cooperation and shared objectives between parties remain elusive
Commenting on the DA’s moonshot pact, he said many had tried to destroy the ANC in the past with little success.
The DA’s proposal involves itself and smaller parties coming together to prevent the ANC and EFF from forming a coalition at the national level in 2024. The pact is based on the assumption that the ANC would get below 50% of the votes.
It has been rejected by the UDM and ACDP, which believe the DA has a “Big Brother mentality” in how it has approached other parties.
“The experience of our struggle against apartheid and… the building of our democracy, we had a group of parties come together and individuals come together on the sole platform of being ANC. They have no cement to hold them together and they usually crumble. So, I am not going to be bothered with those exercises. I am going to be concerned with renewing the ANC, making it deliver and connecting it with the people,” Maharaj reiterated.
ANC Joburg region weighs in on state of coalitions
The ANC Joburg region at the weekend held a lekgotla in the Vaal where coalitions were discussed at length. Many members felt coalition talks should not only happen at provincial and national levels. The sentiment was that negotiators often did not have an idea of the issues faced by councillors at the regional level. However, because the ANC is run on the principle of democratic centralism, councillors have had to toe the party line.
Since 2016, the ANC has not won a majority of seats in the City of Joburg which led to the party losing power in SA’s biggest metro for the first time. The ANC regained control in 2019 through coalitions but was removed from power after the 2o21 local elections. The party’s Joburg region is now working on a proposal which will be submitted at the local government summit next week.
ANC Veterans’ League stance
The ANC Veterans’ League, at its lekgotla held at the weekend in Sandton, said the coalitions formed in Gauteng in the last few months have been unprincipled.
The league’s lekgotla document, Renewal of the ANC in order to advance the National Democratic Revolution, states that there has been too much focus on power rather than becoming an effective opposition. The document also states that the party should stop seeing the DA as the enemy as it is actually the UDM and EFF that are eating into its support base.
It suggests an intervention to stop the current coalition-building with the EFF. The ANC has been working closely with the EFF in the past few months in an attempt to unseat the DA from power in Gauteng municipalities.
The ANC- EFF marriage has succeeded in removing DA mayors in Ekurhuleni and Joburg.
The latest municipality they have managed to take from the DA is Mogale City. On Thursday the DA’s Tyrone Graye was toppled through a motion of no confidence. The EFF and ANC voted for his removal with 43 votes while the DA and its minority coalition partners could only garner 34. DM