South Africa’s political future is paved with coalitions

As the ANC's dominance wanes, coalitions will become a mainstay in South Africa's political landscape. Will you take the next opportunity in determining who forms a part of them?

Coalitions are formed when a single party fails to get a majority, requiring different political parties to cooperate in administration. The recent Local Government Election (LGE) results delivered coalition outcomes in several metros, including the City of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay. South Africans are used to the African National Congress (ANC) dominating local politics but that is no longer guaranteed.

The ANC is losing its grip on power

Overall support for the ANC dropped below 50% for the first time in SA’s democracy in the 2021 LGE. This is in line with the party’s gradual loss of support over the past decade. Rather than running metros and municipalities with a majority of support, the ANC is now being forced to look for coalition partners to stay in power, such as in Nelson Mandela Bay.


The ANC is failing to get the basics right

In recent years, people living under ANC rule in municipalities across several provinces have complained about the ways in which the party is failing to deliver on its promises. People have come to the realisation that, where the ANC is in power, many are still struggling to get their basic needs met, from access to running water to refuse removal and having a consistent electricity supply.

The party’s age old tactic of making up for lost time by hastily trying to fix services as an election approaches in order to drum up support seems to be losing impact. Instead, it highlights just how ineffective and unwilling the party has been to actually ensure sustainable service delivery.

Coalitions can be messy as different parties are forced to cooperate despite their different values and policies. Whether we like it or not, coalitions are here to stay. Bearing this in mind, ask yourself if you would grab the next opportunity at the ballot box to determine who might be a part of them.

Cover image original source here.