South Africa


ActionSA scores a victory at national coalition convention over bone of contention to include Patriotic Alliance

ActionSA scores a victory at national coalition convention over bone of contention to include Patriotic Alliance
From left: United Independent Movement's Neil de Beer, Freedom Front Plus Leader Pieter Groenewald, Independent SA National Civic Organisation's Zukile Luyenge, IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa, Spectrum Party leader Christopher Claassen, ActionSA President Herman Mashaba and DA Leader John Steenhuisen on the first day of the national convention on coalitions at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, 16 August 2023. (Photo: Twitter / @Our_DA)

On the first day of the national convention on coalitions, ActionSA appeared to score a victory by inviting the Patriotic Alliance to participate in further talks on how a broad coalition could unseat the ANC after the 2024 elections.

The bone of contention on Wednesday, the first day of the national convention on coalitions, which was attended by seven opposition parties, was around the possibility of including the Patriotic Alliance (PA) as a partner. 

The DA, IFP, Freedom Front Plus, ActionSA, United Independent Movement, Independent SA National Civic Organisation and the Spectrum National Party attended the gathering at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park. 

Daily Maverick understands that the DA fiercely argued against including the PA as the two parties have bad blood because of the PA’s relationship with the ANC and EFF.

The DA suggested the opposition parties, which are working towards reaching an agreement to form coalitions after the 2024 elections, work instead with community-based organisations. 

ActionSA’s argument was that the coalition needs more parties to be able to reach over 50%.

During a briefing on Wednesday evening, convention chairperson Professor William Gumede acknowledged that the expansion of the potential coalition had been a sore point, without giving any details. He did, however, say that the matter had been resolved and it was decided that any party, except for the ANC and EFF, was welcome to join the coalition. 

“Broadening the parties in the agreement and engaging with other political parties was a critical issue in terms of how the coalition will look like. If it is an extended group of other political parties, how do you come up with criteria? That has really been a sticking point.”

Gumede said the participants had agreed that any parties hoping to join must share the same values as set out by the coalition. 

“The political parties present resolve to extend invitations to all political parties in SA that subscribe to our vision, priorities of government, shared governing principles and the prerequisite to unseat the ANC and keep the EFF out.

“All political parties that subscribe and act according to these principles are requested to come forward and engage in talks to join the Multiparty Charter for South Africa,” he explained, adding that the parties would be objectively judged.

Relations between the DA and PA broke down because of occurrences at the local level this year. The two parties had an agreement in the City of Joburg which collapsed when the PA worked with the ANC and EFF in the city, allowing a motion of no confidence to be passed against DA mayor Mpho Phalatse.

At the time, the PA had demanded two positions on the mayoral committee in Johannesburg and MMC positions in the Ekurhuleni metro — to which the DA did not agree.   

Principles, vision and mission

The parties at the convention decided on a new name for what had been called the Moonshot Pact. Gumede announced that the pact would now be called the Multiparty Charter for South Africa. 

He said the group’s vision was for, “A new government to build a just, inclusive and prosperous South Africa based on opportunity, freedom and security for all its citizens.”

The pact also set out its shared governing principles and areas of commitment, which include: 

  • The rule of law;
  • Equality before the law;
  • Decentralising power to the lowest effective level of government;
  • Accountable, transparent government with zero tolerance for corruption;
  • Capable government that spends public money efficiently to deliver quality services to all;
  • A caring government that puts people first and prioritises the poor;
  • An open market economy;
  • Policies guided by evidence that they produce positive results for society; and
  • Redressing the unjust past by promoting non-racialism and unity in diversity.

The coalition’s priorities include: 

  • Growing the economy and creating jobs;
  • Ending load shedding;
  • Achieving law and order that combats crime, corruption and drugs;
  • Ensuring quality education that delivers opportunities for all; and
  • Ensuring quality healthcare for all within a caring system.

The second day of the summit on Thursday will delve deeper into the kind of coalition the parties are going to form.

The national convention was established to explore how to create a formidable coalition in the event that the ANC drops below 50% in the 2024 election. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Agf Agf says:

    He who sups with the devil should have a long spoon.

  • David Bristow says:

    Voorwaards, phambili!

  • Carsten Rasch says:

    How do you trust a party who has clearly demonstrated they are mercenary and without integrity, and whose leaders are ex-convicts? How can you invite any party to join the coalition?

  • Michele Rivarola says:

    We’ll see if this is just talk or based on true intentions. The obvious starting point would be not to contest the same seat against each other, but that takes trust in your allies/partners and I doubt that will ever happen

  • Steve Davidson says:

    While I agree with the DA’s dislike of the PA, I certainly believe that ActionSA – as much as I dislike them too! – in this case have done the right thing. They, effectively, represent a lot of so-called ‘coloured’ people, who – as far as I can see – are quite rightly a bit gatvol about the DA – quite rightly too! – having to spend way too much on the Eastern Cape economic refugees still streaming into the Cape away from the useless ANC up there. So, their voice being heard via the PA will hopefully be a good thing. And BTW, looking at the commitment list fills me full of hope that this could be the country’s turning point for the better. Hou duim vas!

    • Paddy Ross says:

      The PA’s only demonstration of honesty so far has been the admission that they are interested only in positions that have access to contracts. They have demonstrated time and again that they can not be trusted. How Beaumont(Action SA) can say that leadership positions should be filled by the most appropriate people and then push for a party led by people with criminal records to be included in the coalition is beyond belief.

      • simonzwzavolk says:

        Simon Entrepreneur. Coalitions are about give and take and require a fair degree of maturity. A productive and effective coalition is a worthy acknowledgement to rectify the suffering South Africans have endured. The true cost of maladministration and misrule still needs to be costed and the damage on the youth and future generations is insurmountable.

    • A Concerned Citizen says:

      The PA achieved 0.04% of the national vote in the last elections, down from 0.07% in 2014. To claim they represent anybody is not true. They have a big voice, amplified by the media, but they are not chosen by the people.

  • Glyn Fogell says:

    A step in the right direction. One can only hope that this is not a pipe dream and that party politics and demands can be put aside in the event that the coalition succeeds in getting a combined majority in 2024.

  • Thank goodness the name was changed. Now for constructive action

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    Can oil and water mix? Not too sure about this one!

  • Rory Macnamara says:

    Well done Prof Gumede for knocking one ego down being the DA. it is about working together to see the ANC and EFF do not govern this country. DA fighting over its pettiness with PA is exactly what will bomb this great initiative. more power to you Sir.

  • Ra Ma says:

    OMG what a sweet dream!
    “There is a tide in the affairs of men
    Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
    On such a full sea are we now afloat;
    And we must take the current when it serves, Or lose our ventures”.

  • Brian Doyle says:

    The DA should get off their high horse and do what’s best for the country and not just for the DA. The coalition must be strong and diverse enough to topple the corrupt, incompetent and ineffective ANC, otherwise we will be back with the ANC for another 4 years.

    • Steve Davidson says:

      Bulldust. Do you live in the Cape? Have you seen what a fantastic job the DA has done down here despite the useless ANC’s stuff ups with the railways, police, national parks and of course the ongoing influx of economic refugees from the same ANC’s incompetence and corruption? Sorry to shout, BUT THEY ARE ALREADY DOING THE SAME THING HERE AS THEY WILL DO FOR THE COUNTRY AS AND WHEN THEY GET VOTED IN! People like you obviously don’t like the DA so please don’t go on about ‘high horses’ before getting off your own.

  • prifam1 says:

    Gayton McKensie is an ambitious unreliable ex-con. It is amazing how people blaming the DA in comments above can’t see through him He is over pushing himself on the basis of lies and the ability gain positions based on a few seats . Gayton McKenzie is basically interested inGaytonMcKenzie and only wants to join the opposition alliance because he realises he will be out if he doesn’t What a potential one man wrecking ball. The ANC must love him

    • Bruce Q says:

      I’m afraid your comments probably apply to 99% of politicians.
      Greedy, self-serving egotists!
      These terms do not only apply to the ANC and the EFF.
      Although I must confess in the regard of the latter two, one should include “Racists”!
      Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
      Please God, would someone rise up and become the person to lead this benighted country out of the wilderness of corruption.

      • prifam1 says:

        Very few politicians are ex-cons as you’re claiming. A criminal record should constitutionally exclude people from public office. Your equating McKenzie with most politicians is simply incorrect

    • William Dryden says:

      Well put prifam1, couldn’t have put it better. Lets hope the coalition agree together and not squabble over positions.

  • andrew farrer says:

    Will Gayton sign on to “zero tolerance for corruption”? They should also include a commitment to the truth as Gayton has a penchant for telling porkies.
    I don’t agree that all parties be included. There are a number of anc RET front parties that should be placed in the same basket as anc, eff – atm, aic come to mind?

  • Bill Haslam says:

    Come On, Daily Maverick, with this sort of headline you are just stoking the fires. This must have been a very difficult discussion and decision with some of the parties having to accept a compromise. To say one party has “gained a victory” simply stirs the pot. Is that your contribution to building an alternative government? This appears to be a damaging attention seeking headline which does you no favours!

  • Soil Merchant says:

    I makes one wonder as to whether they will vote at all … if you do not support the ideology of one or more of these parties, then why would you vote in a coalition ?

  • Lisbeth Scalabrini says:

    The trouble is already on the doorstep, before they have even started. Who can trust McKenzie?
    On the other hand, if he can attract votes, close the nose, look the other way and vote anyway.

  • A Concerned Citizen says:

    The Patriotic Alliance got 0.04% of the national vote in 2019, down from 0.07% in 2014. To claim they represent ANY group is ludicrous. They have no electoral mandate, are just playing political games for their own gain (which they have admitted to). They do not share the values, ambitions, or policies of the parties that have met for this convention, and they bring nothing to the table in terms of voter support, so why on earth include them? They are scrambling for relevance with the proposed thresholds for representation that will be pushed through by the DA and ANC. Don’t give them that.

  • john.c.y.murray says:


    • Steve Davidson says:

      You need to read a bit further. Their Wikipedia page says in 2021 local elections they got 265 235 votes, up from 22 236 in 2016. And anyway it’s far better having them in the tent peeing out rather than outside peeing in, especially if their votes are going up exponentially like that?

  • Roelf Pretorius says:

    This whole exercise seems to have already failed, because their chances of becoming a force with more than 50% of the vote (which is needed to become the government) is exactly ZERO. And if they don’t, and they refuse to form a grand coalition with the ANC, which is what seems to be happening, then they will be achieving exactly what they purport not to do, namely forcing the ANC into a coalition with the EFF. Because we all know that, even if the ANC does not get 50% plus one of the vote, the only way to prevent an ANC/EFF coalition is for a major political party such as one of these players to go into a grand coalition with the ANC. By having this attitude they are thus forcing SA into a situation of a total disaster, while all the indications are that the ANC would prefer to go into a grand coalition with one of them, or maybe even the whole lot of them as a unit, over the EFF because the ANC knows that the EFF will only shunt them around. So we as South Africans have one of two choices: Either convince all these political parties to become flexible on the idea of a grand coalition, or getting out of the country while we still can. I am really disappointed in these political parties; they, and especially the DA, should have known much better.

  • Roelf Pretorius says:

    . . . If one assumes that there is a practical rationale behind this pact, then it is probably the DA going back to its 25 year old strategy of conning smaller political parties into allowing the DA to devour them while the DA machine will be keeping control over the whole process, and eventually the idea is to have a DA leader elected as leader of the whole group, no matter what they promise during these talks. All this while hiding behind the so-called rationale of “we can’t afford more of the ANC”. Not that we can, but the course that is being pursued at the moment is only going to divide SA even further and drive the majority into the hands of the EFF; that is the only scenario that is worse than the ANC. But let us see what happens in the rest of the talks.

    • prifam1 says:

      Your approach is nihilistic. Emigrate if you’ve lost hope but I don’t think you will be happy overseas. You will just become one the scores of emigrants who have to justify their choice by running down any efforts to improve the situation back here from a safe though dissatisfied position abroad. However rather you did that than poured cold water on everything here as one of the ranks of the dissatisfied “opposition” Opposition voters need to show a bit more optimism and courage

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