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Urgent need for national discussion on coalitions, says Mashatile

Deputy President Paul Mashatile speaking at a podium

Deputy President Paul Mashatile. File Picture

Published May 28, 2023


Durban - The issue of coalitions is to be discussed at a national dialogue on coalition governments in the next two months, Deputy President Paul Mashatile has said.

Mashatile responding to questions in the National Assembly last week said there are certain principles that should serve as the foundation for a coalition between any political parties in South Africa.

“Firstly, putting the people first by making them the tenants of our value system, in the formation of governments. In the spirit of Batho Pele, the measurement of the performance of coalitions must be about what we have done to improve the lives of the people for the better.

“Second, coalition governments must be committed to combating poverty and deprivation as well as building a growing and inclusive economy, and must report regularly, by providing evidence on poverty reduction, growing the economy, and including the majority in the mainstream economy.”

Mashatile said the third element of coalition governments was that they must contribute toward building a prosperous society in which people had access to land for productive purposes and were meaningfully participating in the economy.

“Fourth, coalition governments must be committed to building a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, united and prosperous society.

“Fifth, a coalition government should be bound together by a commitment to good governance, with no tolerance for corruption.”

Lastly, the party that has won the largest share of the votes should be allowed to lead the coalition, and the executive positions should be allocated proportionally to the votes obtained by the coalition partners,” Mashatile said.

The DA introduced three pieces of legislation, which have already been published for comment and are expected to be presented to Parliament in the coming weeks.

DA MP Siviwe Gwarube said these bills aimed to amend the Constitution and the Municipal Structure’s Act of 1998 to establish a legal framework for stable and accountable coalition governments at local, provincial, and national levels.


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