After extensive negotiations spanning months, seven South African opposition parties convened for a two-day summit, culminating in the Multi-Party Convention’s resolution to strengthen their collaboration as the 2024 elections loom.
At the ceremonial event, party leaders collectively endorsed the Multi-Party Charter, expressing their intent to challenge the incumbent leadership of the African National Congress under President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Extending a hand of unity, they urged other parties outside this alliance to collaborate, asserting that their joint mission is to ensure the ANC’s displacement. They contend that under the current governance, the nation has witnessed administrative failings and a disregard for the rule of law.
In an unprecedented turn since the dawn of democracy in 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) faces the potential loss of its parliamentary majority, and consequently the presidency, in the upcoming 2024 elections.
This shift is set against a canvas of increasing public frustration over corruption, a severe energy crisis, and an ailing economy underscored by joblessness.
Speaking from a coalition gathering in Johannesburg, Siviwe Gwarube of the Democratic Alliance (DA) remarked, that they are issuing another call, believing there are political parties that align well with their vision.
She hinted that aligning with more parties could bolster their tally, keeping the coalition’s current electoral prospects close to her chest.
Recently, the DA declared an alliance with six other smaller parties, eyeing the 2024 elections.
Yet, this coalition does not incorporate the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), South Africa’s third dominant political entity.
Currently, the DA holds one-fifth of the parliamentary seats and, as per the polls, is poised to secure around 16% of the total votes. Presently, fourteen parties have representation in parliament.
The coalition partners jointly asserted that their ultimate goal is to unseat the ANC, sideline the EFF, and pave the way for a diversified multi-party governance.
“We must honor our history, but it’s time for the nation to move beyond its shadows,” said Neil de Beer, leader of the United Independent Movement, a member of the coalition. His reference was pointed at the ANC’s reign since apartheid’s cessation.
In a telling sign of the times, the esteemed party dipped below 50% in the 2021 local elections. Despite this, President Cyril Ramaphosa, aged 70, secured his position again in December. If the ANC prevails, his second term as the nation’s leader is ensured.