ROAD TO 2024 ELECTIONS
ActionSA scores a victory at national coalition convention over bone of contention to include Patriotic Alliance
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