South African Opposition Parties Forge Alliance to Challenge ANC’s Dominance


Following an intensive two-day gathering and several months of negotiations, a coalition of seven South African opposition parties known as the Multi-Party Convention has come together to strengthen their collaboration as the nation moves closer to the 2024 elections.

At the formal event, leaders from these opposition parties signed the Multi-Party Charter, symbolizing their collective determination to unseat the African National Congress (ANC), currently led by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

In a concerted effort, the coalition extended an invitation to other opposition parties not initially part of the alliance, encouraging them to join forces in a united front to remove the ANC from power. Their assertion is grounded in the belief that the country is currently experiencing misgovernance and a disregard for the rule of law.

In an unprecedented shift since the establishment of democracy in 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) faces the real prospect of losing its parliamentary majority and, consequently, the presidency in the impending 2024 elections.

This transformative potential arises amid mounting discontent stemming from issues such as corruption, an unprecedented energy crisis, and a struggling economy marked by widespread unemployment.

“We are extending another invitation because we think there are political parties that would be a good fit”, Siviwe Gwarube, a representative of the Democratic Alliance (DA), said on the sidelines of a coalition meeting in Johannesburg.

She further emphasized that their involvement could significantly bolster our numerical strength, while refraining from divulging specific projections of the coalition’s electoral success.

Last month, the DA took a decisive step by forming a coalition with six smaller opposition parties, all with an eye toward the 2024 elections. However, this collaborative effort deliberately excludes the radical left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which stands as the third-largest political party in the nation.

With approximately a fifth of the parliamentary seats under its banner, the DA has the potential to secure around 16 percent of the popular vote based on current polling data. Presently, there are a total of fourteen parties represented in the parliament.

In a joint declaration, the coalition parties articulated their mission: “Our mission is to overthrow the ANC, exclude the EFF, and establish a multi-party government.”

Reflecting on the historical context, Neil de Beer, the leader of the United Independent Movement, a constituent of the coalition, expressed, “We have not forgotten history, but this nation must stop living in it.” This sentiment was a reference to the ANC’s enduring grip on power since the end of the apartheid era.

The ANC’s historical dominance experienced a historic dip below the 50 percent threshold during the 2021 local elections. President Cyril Ramaphosa, aged 70, secured reappointment in December, with the potential for a second term at the helm of the nation if the ANC emerges victorious.


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