Analysts examine if coalition governments stand a chance in SA

Coalition governments have the potential to reshape politics in South Africa, but there are many factors that can drive their success or failure.

Political analyst Lukhona Mnguni and economist and data educator Paul Berkowitz reflected on the state coalition parties in the country.

Mnguni says more time is needed to measure the performances of newly formed local governments.

He explains that coalition partners need to be close, but maintain their independent political values.

We have seen the Independent Democrats (ID) of Patricia de Lille ended up being swallowed by the DA because of this sense of a coalition.

Lukhona Mnguni, political analyst

The idea of a coalition is that you must be close, but not too close.

Lukhona Mnguni, political analyst

The EFF is able to oppose the DA on any matter that they feel they are uncomfortable with. They are resolute and firm on the strategic objective that they want to keep the ANC out of power.

Lukhona Mnguni, political analyst

He says the EFF appears to agree with the DA on a technical level of governance but does not compromise on their ideology.

Mnguni argues that the DA needs to think carefully about their actions in Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB), where the party ousted Deputy Mayor Mongameli Bobani from the UDM.

The DA claims Bobani breached their co-governance agreement by voting with the opposition.

Read: NMB deputy mayor Bobani no saint or angel – Holomisa

Meanwhile, Berkowitz says that coalition partnerships that change from election to election are not very stable.

If there's a long-standing relationship and one that strengthens over time, that's a clue to more long terms stability and continuity

Economist and data educator Paul Berkowitz Director: EDGIS

He advises that some coalition partnerships are often done at high-level but tend to have less buy-in 'on the ground'.

Berkowitz explains that coalition agreements need to work for the parties involved and for the betterment of service delivery.

Also read: DA-led coalition in Nelson Mandela Bay may come to an end

The pair discussed the quality of relationships between coalition partners in SA, making examples of the 2016 municipal elections and opposition parties including the IFP, DA, EFF, UDM.

They also spoke about smaller opposition coalitions parties with cases of region-specific power.

Take a listen to the engaging discussion and analysis:


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