Dubbed the “Moonshot Pact”, the group consists of the Democratic Alliance, ActionSA, Inkatha Freedom Party, Freedom Front Plus, United Independent Movement, Spectrum National Party and the Independent South African National Civic Organisation.
But, what is a “Moonshot Pact” and what does it hope to achieve?
The term “moonshot” originally came from about after the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that sent the first humans to the moon. United States former president John F. Kennedy had declared that humans would go to the moon within the decade - a claim that seemed far-fetched but ended up being a daring goal that was achieved.
During the Democratic Alliance’s Federal Congress in April, re-elected leader John Steenhuisen used the term while he outlined the party’s vision to rescue the country at the 2024 election.
He said that 2024 was going to be South Africa’s moonshot election, “where we achieve a giant leap forward by removing the ANC from power and replacing it with a new pact government composed of like minded opposition parties”.
What the Moonshot Pact represents is a mechanism that would allow these parties’ to reap the benefits of a higher stake at the elections without having to actively convert voters from another party to their own.
Coalition government, another new term to join the election dictionary, is the aim here.
Quite simply, a coalition government is a temporary alliance of distinct parties, persons, or states for joint action.
With the reality that an outright ANC majority is not necessarily how next year’s general election would swing, the electioneering has changed this time around.
In the last local government election, the ANC received only 45.59% support, the first time in the party’s history that it dropped below 50%.
During the DA’s congress, Steenhuisen made the call for a pact ahead of next year’s general election.
“In my capacity as leader, not only of the DA but of the opposition alternative in this country, our party will immediately initiate a process to form a pre-election Moonshot Pact with like-minded political parties, civil society organisations and civic movements to defeat the ANC, to keep the EFF out, and to inaugurate a new national opposition coalition government,” Steenhuisen said at the party’s congress.