CR against the ropes over DA alliance

ANC National Spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri. Picture: Itumeleng English/Independent Newspapers

ANC National Spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri. Picture: Itumeleng English/Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 5, 2024


President Cyril Ramaphosa’s future seems to hang in the balance after some ANC members and tripartite alliance partners refused to go to bed with the DA.

This after some ANC officials reached out to The Star to reveal that if Ramaphosa chose to strike a deal with the official opposition, they would have to find a way to get him out of the Union Buildings.

The governing ANC a week ago failed to reach a majority for the National Assembly after 30 years, racking up only 40.2% of the 2024 elections votes, announced by the Electoral Commission of SA on Sunday. A sharp drop from 57% in 2019.

For the first time, the party also struggled to reach majorities in Gauteng, the Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

The party’s long term alliance partner, Cosatu, this week rejected the idea of any coalition with the DA in public, accusing them of “fighting against improving the rights of workers”.

The party has been in talks with other parties regarding the possibility of coalitions.

The party will be holding a National Executive Committee meeting in Gauteng on Thursday. It announced during a media briefing on Wednesday it would be pushing for a government of national unity with the possibility of teaming up with the DA, EFF, IFP and PA, among others.

ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said: “The ANC is driven by the imperative to maintain national unity, stability and to put in place a government that will move with speed to tackle all the pressing socio-economic challenges our nation faces.

“We believe that despite any differences we may have, working together as South Africans, we can seize this moment to usher our country into a new era of hope.”

However, Cosatu’s secretary, Solly Phetoe, before Wednesday’s announcement by Bhengu-Motsiri, reportedly said that the federation rejected anything to do with the DA.

“We reject that. We reject it publicly. We reject any coalition with the DA,” he said.

Cosatu said it would consult internally and with the ANC and the SACP on a common stance and way forward with regard to the composition of coalition options led by the ANC.

Two officials of the ANC who did not want to be named told The Star it had always been Ramaphosa’s plan to befriend the DA, but revealed that that did not sit well with Cabinet ministers after the party lost about 70 seats.

Political analyst Sandile Swana said if Ramaphosa took that route, the ANC would face another split.

“Any deal with the DA is going to cause a further split in the ANC because there are sections of the ANC who regard the DA as a right-wing organisation,” Swana said.

“The so-called moderates are able to live with record level unemployment and poverty in the black communities and also the profound inequality between whites and blacks.

“Ramaphosa can only survive if the left wing is kicked out of the ANC and protection of Ramaphosa secured in Parliament by the DA,” Swana said.

He added that Ramaphosa had lost credibility with the CR17 funders due to non-performance.

“However, certain sections of big business see Ramaphosa as a better ‘devil’ to (Paul) Mashatile, (Jacob) Zuma and (Julius) Malema.

“Ramaphosa is unlikely to finish a second term, and the ANC will reach 36% the in 2026 local government elections and that is another factor to force Ramaphosa out of office.

“Ramaphosa is a well established opportunist who has been awarded many BEE deals by the white business establishment that makes him more pliable to Busa and Big Business more generally. Some senior officials of the party want a deal with the DA. I suspect Ramaphosa is generally agreeable,” Swana said.

He said Ramaphosa was likely to partner with smaller parties and have a limited agreement with the DA. However, he could not satisfy the left including Cosatu and SACP over and above MK, EFF and RET forces inside the ANC.

Meanwhile, the SACP on Wednesday announced that it would not accept any coalition that included the uMkhonto weSizwe Party.