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Western Cape ANC heads to policy conference with national coalition proposal for party

29.05.2012. ANC flag seen as members gathered in lagre numbers outside the Goodman Gallery yesterday in support of the party to remove the Brett Murry painting (The Spear) from the gallery Picture: Sizwe Ndingane

29.05.2012. ANC flag seen as members gathered in lagre numbers outside the Goodman Gallery yesterday in support of the party to remove the Brett Murry painting (The Spear) from the gallery Picture: Sizwe Ndingane

Published Jul 28, 2022

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Cape Town - The Western Cape ANC has dismissed recent calls by some of its activists to shun coalition arrangements and has called for the development of a national coalition policy which recognises the party’s principles and non-negotiables.

The coalition policy is just one of the proposals that the Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) policy co-ordination team led by MPL Nomi Nkondlo will be taking to the ANC’s sixth National Policy Conference in Johannesburg which begins this morning.

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Three weeks ago, a group of ANC Western Cape activists handed over a memorandum of demands to the IPC demanding the party’s immediate withdrawal from all coalition arrangements entered after the 2021 local government elections.

Speaking at a briefing on the party’s policy proposals, Nkondlo said it was high time that the ANC took the learnings from the Western Cape, as it increasingly became the opposition in municipalities in other provinces.

“We are saying that as the Western Cape, in as far as the national politics within the ANC are concerned, we take cognisance that we are among the provinces that have been in opposition for quite some time.”

Nkondlo, however, said the coalition policy should not be general, but that each coalition would have to be assessed on the basis of the realities in those particular municipalities.

“We need to ask what coalition partners are bringing to the fore and also insofar as our principal issues, if we’re able to coexist?

“We for instance cannot compromise on our non-racial and non-sexist policies just for power.”

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Political scientist Ntsikelelo Benjamin said it was interesting that after all these years the ANC was seriously considering a coalition policy.

“The ANC will never again be the way it was. The political lifespan of liberation movements tends to be affected by the institutionalisation of corruption and the hegemony of the ANC has been dealt a blow. It is no longer a dominant party.”

He said that the challenge would be that coalitions were a relatively new political phenomenon in South African politics and had so far proved unworkable because parties had a tendency to jump ship any time they were offered a sweeter deal.

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Political analyst Shingai Mutizwa-Mangiza said South Africa’s Proportional Representation (PR) electoral system was predisposed to coalition deals.

He said South Africa was an anomaly when compared to Germany and other countries which follow the same system where the idea of one party having an outright majority was unusual.

Nkondlo also spoke about the controversial step-aside issue that has emerged as one of the major issues that will be grappled with at the policy conference.

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She said that if people joined the ANC they were expected to abide by its procedures and constitution, as with membership of any other formal organisation.

Among the other policy recommendations the Western Cape delegation will be taking include that the government must make land available for residential development, industrial development and for commercial farming purposes.

Also, that the state must strengthen Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment and that the Fishing Rights Allocation Process (Frap) be extended to allow evidence presentation to the minister as an appeal authority.

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