In a groundbreaking move, several of South Africa's political parties have come together to form the "Multi-Party Charter For South Africa", a pre-election agreement that aims to present a united front against the challenges facing the nation.
The charter, which was made public on Thursday, outlines the shared vision, priorities, and principles of the signatory parties.
Parties' Objective: The parties, including the Democratic Alliance, Inkatha Freedom Party, and ActionSA, among others, have united with the belief that the ANC will fall below 50% in the 2024 elections. This would allow for the formation of multi-party coalitions to replace the ANC in both national and provincial governments.
Shared Vision: The charter emphasises a new direction for South Africa, focusing on opportunity, freedom, and security for all citizens.
Priority Areas: The charter lists several priority areas for the new government:
– Economic growth and job creation
– Ending load shedding and ensuring energy security
– Combating crime, corruption, and drugs
– Delivering quality education and basic services
– Building a professional public service
– Ensuring quality healthcare
– Establishing a social relief framework for households in poverty
Shared Governing Principles:
The parties commit to upholding the South African Constitution, decentralising power, ensuring transparent and accountable governance, promoting an open market economy, and redressing past injustices.
Exclusion of ANC and EFF:
The charter explicitly states that the signatory parties will not enter into any working arrangements or co-governing agreements with the ANC or EFF.
The charter emphasises the importance of genuine co-governance, suggesting the creation of a collective manifesto and a monitoring and evaluation framework. It also notes that the leader of the largest party is not automatically nominated for the position of President. Meaning that if the DA wins the biggest share of the vote, John Steenhuisen would not automatically be the next president.
Duration and Amendments:
The agreement will remain in effect until a multi-party coalition agreement is reached post the 2024 elections. Any amendments to the charter require consensus.
This unprecedented move by multiple political parties signals a significant shift in South Africa's political landscape.
The charter not only presents a united front against the ANC but also offers a detailed roadmap of a future without the ANC in power.
By focusing on shared values and priorities, the parties aim to provide a compelling alternative to the current government.
However, the success of this charter will depend on the parties' ability to maintain unity and effectively communicate their shared vision to the South African populace.
The upcoming 2024 elections will be a crucial test for this multi-party alliance and its promise of a new direction for South Africa.