The EFF has confirmed it will not attend the coalition dialogue organised by government and led by Deputy President Paul Mashathile.
The dialogue is scheduled to start today and go on until tomorrow and will be attended by political parties and civil society at the Jakes Gerwel Hall at the University of the Western Cape in Bellville, Cape Town.
According to the government, the aim of the dialogue is to lay the foundation for a National Framework on Coalition Governments, which will serve as a guide for effectively managing and navigating coalition governments where they become necessary.
“The need for such dialogue is informed by the adverse effects that have been observed in certain coalition arrangements at local government, particularly their impact on service delivery and governance. In order to mitigate these negative effects and foster a more productive and harmonious governance approach, it has become necessary to embark on a transformative national conversation,” said Mashatile’s spokesperson, Vukani Mde.
The dialogue would bring together different sectors of society to work towards crafting a clear and predictable framework for coalition governments in South Africa to ensure cohesive and effective governance, said Mde.
But the EFF hit back at the planned formation, with the party’s national spokesperson Sinawo Thambo saying: “In the face of ANC's desperate attempt to facilitate how it should be removed from power, the EFF firmly asserts that the process is not one to be negotiated or presided over by an outgoing and dying ruling party.
“Our principled position is clear and uncompromising: everywhere the ANC is below 50%, opposition parties must unite to take the ANC out of power.”
He said coalition government frameworks and discussions could not - and must neither be negotiated nor presided over by those who cling to power while people suffer.
“We recognise the importance of coalition governments as a means to reflect the diverse voices and needs of our society. However, the ANC’s involvement in the formulation of this framework exposes a grave lack of impartiality and a blatant attempt to protect their fading grasp on power on the eve of elections,” Thambo said.
The EFF emphasized the importance of an independent and transparent process that is free from the influence of the ruling party, he said, and was for the development of a framework which served the people of South Africa at national, provincial, and local government levels.