Main South African Opposition Party Open to ANC Deal

South Africa’s Democratic Alliance (DA), the nation’s second-largest party, has indicated its readiness to explore potential collaboration with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) should the ANC fail to secure a majority in the upcoming May elections, as stated by the DA’s leader on Monday. Concerns over poor service delivery, unemployment, crime, and power shortages have led analysts to predict the ANC’s potential loss of its legislative majority, a historic shift since the end of apartheid under Nelson Mandela’s leadership.

DA leader John Steenhuisen emphasized the importance of assessing the ANC’s policies and stance in any prospective negotiations. However, he refrained from confirming ongoing discussions. In contrast, the ANC’s Deputy Party Secretary Nomvula Mokonyane has expressed skepticism about coalition governance, casting doubt on the effectiveness of power-sharing arrangements.

To bolster its electoral prospects, the DA has formed alliances with smaller parties, including the Inkatha Freedom Party, the Freedom Front Plus, and Action SA, each targeting different voter demographics.

Steenhuisen highlighted the challenges faced by the opposition coalition, particularly the need to prevent a potential alliance between the ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which he dubbed the “doomsday coalition.” If in power, the DA’s policy agenda includes privatizing the electricity sector and simplifying regulations to facilitate private sector operations, departing from the ANC’s race-based empowerment initiatives.

The DA aims to replace race-based policies with poverty alleviation strategies and rejects accusations of being aligned with white privilege. Instead, it emphasizes the broader benefits of accountable governance for all South Africans, particularly the marginalized.