Ramaphosa: Jury is still out on coalitions
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PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has indicated the jury is still out on whether the coalitions that have been established will be in place for the next five years.
However, it was his wish that the coalition governments stay in office for the duration of their term and deliver services to the people.
Ramaphosa told Parliament on Thursday they have to respect the will of the people.
He said the issue of coalition governments was something new in South Africa and they have to learn as they go along.
However, in other countries coalitions have been in existence for many years and sometimes it takes months for political parties to form coalitions.
“The jury as far as I am concerned is still out. One cannot at this point in time say one system will work better than the other. Let us hope with these coalitions that have been struck now will function for the full five years as well as it is expected,” said Ramaphosa.
The ANC has lost some of the metros leading to the DA forming coalitions.
The DA took control of Tshwane, Joburg and Ekurhuleni while it retained Cape Town.
The ANC wrested Nelson Mandela Bay from the DA and retained eThekwini, Mangaung and Buffalo City.
In eThekwini it was through the backing of smaller parties that the ANC retained it.
Ramaphosa said South Africa was new in coalitions. He hoped the instability that was experienced in the past would not happen again.
“We are still new, this is a new terrain for us. Our democracy is still very young. We are still to experience the full effect of coalition governments. What we have experienced in the recent past has not been anything that can give us great comfort. But having said that we should not look to a future where there will be coalition governments, what we should seek to do is to make the coalition governments work.
“If we can embrace that type of future and say yes the future that we see evolving in many other countries, particularly your developed democratic countries, is that the future is coalition governments, if not there is a continuous change of government on an ongoing basis. You see what happens in the US. One party comes in, the other party goes out,” said Ramaphosa.
“In other countries it’s more government of permanent coalitions. Speaking to the prime minister of Sweden the other day he said sometimes ‘we have a gridlock because we have a permanent coalition type of dispensation.’ The same thing in Germany they are still negotiating months after their own election. This is a new terrain. We are traversing new terrain,” said Ramaphosa.