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Leaked DA strategy about ANC coalitions - Election Analyst Dawie Scholtz unpacks

25 October 2021 7:59 AM
Tags:
Democratic Alliance
ANC
coalition politics
#Elections2021

Electoral analyst Dawie Scholtz speaks to Refilwe Moloto and says this would be a massive shift from the DA's historical strategy.
  • Analyst Dawie Schotz outlines 3 points made by Zille in the leaked video: DA to focus on being 15 to 20% party, DA to wait until ANC drops below 50%, and finally then to form a coalition with the ANC
  • Scholtz says this is a massive strategic change for the Democratic Alliance

Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

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Right now on the streets of Cape Town there are DA street pole posters reading: "DA or ANC: your choice" Refilwe Moloto reminds us. But not according to a clip of Helen Zille discussing a coalition with the ANC to form a power block.

In the clip, Zille is heard talking about the advantage of reaching 20% support and then joining forces with the ANC and Cyril Ramaphosa, under certain conditions.

Electoral analyst Dawie Scholtz speaks to Refilwe Moloto about the impact of a coalition between the ANC and DA.

It is a really fascinating one. There is this recording of Madam Zille addressing I believe a DA party meeting in 2019, that was leaked yesterday.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst

Scholtz outlines Zille's three points: 1. DA to focus on being a 15-20% party 2. DA to wait for the ANC to drop below 50% (at which point EFF will be the official opposition) 3. DA to then form a coalition with the ANC

She makes three points. She says firstly that the DA's new election strategy intention is basically to try to be a very coherent - to be clear, very liberal - 15 to 20% party which is what the party has got historically in elections and that should be their target, with the intention then to wait for the ANC to lose support to the point it gets under 50%. And finally, to form a coalition, as she said I think in the video, with Cyril Ramaphosa's ANC once the ANC is under 50%.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst

This is just an extreme, enormous departure from the party's historical strategy. So much of what has animated the party since Helen Zille took over in 2006 was to be a big broad-ranging alterative that could not help the ANC in coalition but displace the ANC.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst

Such a broad strategy speaks of a far higher number than 20% he notes, so it begs the question why is the party only targetting that number?

I think this is the key point. I think the party does not want to have a discussion about redistributive economic policy that acknowledges the racial history and racial complexity in South Africa, because the moment you start having that discussion you open up the door to more than 20%. But that discussion is required to get there and I don't think the party wants to have them.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst

He says this major strategic decision will have real consequences for the party.

Anecdotally and in the research we see a lot of people who have historically voted DA want a big, broad, diverse party to take on the ANC. That is one of the key animating factors for a lot of these voters, including some of that 8% of white voters Helen talks about.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst

However, he believes a 15 to 20% strategy dilutes that goal and many voters will start looking for alternatives.

The reality is I think we are going to see some of that happening in this election. In Gauteng, there is a real choice between the DA and Action SA for white voters in the suburbs. Action SA has said it will not work with the ANC.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst

What does Scholtz believe might be behind this strategy?

The party is probably asking itself what is the best practical next step we can take based on where we are today? And it is probably not a completely illogical conclusion to say that as things evolve maybe actually working with the sensible side of the ANC is not a bad idea.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst

The question is did they really have to be in this position, he says, and for him, this entire logical sequence begins with the DA decision to be a 15 to 20% party and to adopt a policy platform that only speaks to that portion of the vote.

Because of that, we can't grow, and because of that, as the ANC goes down, we're not going to go up, and because of that, there is no other option than working with the ANC once the ANC gets under 50% because of course, if you don't work with the ANC then, it is going to be an ANC - EFF coalition, which is even worse for DA voters.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst



25 October 2021 7:59 AM
Tags:
Democratic Alliance
ANC
coalition politics
#Elections2021

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