Johannesburg - Five opposition parties have joined forces to try to unseat the ANC in the elections next year.
Cope, the Freedom Front Plus, the IFP, the African Christian Democratic Party and the United Christian Democratic Party signed an agreement on Tuesday to work together after the elections.
However, ANC spokesman Keith Khoza described the move as typical of opposition parties faced with elections they can’t win and piggybacking on other parties.
“It’s a survival approach by smaller parties hoping that other parties don’t take their votes. These coalitions have never worked,” he said.
The coalition, known as the Collective for Democracy, is made of these parties, which have a combined 57 seats in Parliament.
Issues the coalition intends to tackle if it wins include fighting corruption and transforming the civil service into a nonpartisan sector.
Dr Pieter Mulder of the Freedom Front Plus said each party would campaign individually for itself during the elections. Explaining their decision, Mulder said the reality was that one party couldn’t hope to win against the ANC.
“Commonsense is to get out there and get maximum votes, and we add them. The ANC have had four chances already. They abused them and did not use them properly,” Mulder said.
Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota said they now had an opportunity to bring voters the hope of actual political change “instead of giving up on alternatives because the ruling party has cynically manoeuvred its way into all sectors of our society, entrenching its power and corruption”.
The official opposition party, the DA, declined the invitation to join the coalition. Both Mulder and Lekota said the DA believed it was strong on its own and could win the elections without the coalition.
The DA’s national spokesman and premier candidate for Gauteng, Mmusi Maimane, said the party had not joined the coalition because there were certain principles on which it did not agree.
Maimane added he was not sure what the coalition stood for, what it offered voters or what its guiding principles were.