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Coalitions are part of the new political landscape

South Africa's political landscape is busy changing and coalitions are on the horizon.

A new era has already been ushered in where the days of a total and absolute ANC majority are numbered. Coalition governments on local level are a reality.

In this debate on coalitions, one ANC member referred to "collusions”. Conspiracies. The definition is: "secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy in order to deceive others".

This definition fits certain coalitions on local level, of which the ANC is part, like a glove.

It is, furthermore, not true that the ANC is the only one that has thus far been part of a successful coalition. There are many more examples, like the former coalition government in Hessequa between the FF Plus and the DA. The ANC was not even in the picture.

South Africa's Constitution determines that the country is a multiparty democracy with a proportional electoral system. It will inevitably result in cooperation between political parties, and coalition formation.

This debate's topic is just an illusion. Under ANC rule, there was no sign of healthy political-administrative cooperation, or good governance or quality service delivery.

Coalition governments must now save what they can after nearly three decades of the ANC's destruction.

There are, however, four important lessons about coalition formation to take to heart:

The biggest partner must also be the humblest. Greater numbers mean nothing without the support of your coalition partners, regardless of their size.

Secondly, coalitions must be negotiated, established and managed locally with as little interference from outside as possible.

Thirdly, interpersonal relationships between coalition partners are paramount. It is imperative to lay a solid foundation for good cooperation there.

Lastly, the fewer the parties and the more established they are, the greater the chances of success.

It is preferable to steer clear of smaller parties built around one individual or a few people. When such a party controls the power balance, it is a recipe for disaster.

The FF Plus will see to it that these lessons are implemented on local level when a new national government comes into power in 2024.

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