Nation waits on ANC to reveal its hand on a government of national unity

Economist and political analyst Dawie Roodt said he does not see the GNU working and that the markets are already responding negatively to this uncertainty. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

Economist and political analyst Dawie Roodt said he does not see the GNU working and that the markets are already responding negatively to this uncertainty. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 8, 2024


As the ANC seeks possible coalition partners to take on board a government of national unity (GNU), possible suitors are unwilling to be part of Cyril Ramaphosa’s bridal party if he takes one or the other to the GNU wedding, leaving the nation waiting at the proverbial alter.

The DA does not want the EFF and MK Party as partners of the GNU, and the EFF and ANC alliance partners have rejected the DA.

Meanwhile, investors and the markets are waiting on tenterhooks to find out which way the country will be going and have already responded negatively.

Economist and political analyst Dawie Roodt said he does not see the GNU working and that the markets are already responding negatively to this uncertainty.

“This is an attempt by Ramaphosa to save the ANC as it has gone weaker over the years, which the man doesn’t want to admit. It will be impossible to put all these parties in one room, let alone agree on anything. I think we will have to go back to the polls, as these things won’t even last a month,” said Roodt.

“The financial markets want a coalition more to the right; the DA is the obvious candidate for that. If the ANC goes into a coalition with the left, the EFF, or the MK Party, the rand will immediately take a further knock, and the capital markets will see foreigners fleeing.

“The equity market, already under pressure, will fall even further, and we could easily lose another 10%. Keep in mind that all these markets are already undervalued. In the real economy, investors will pull away. Investment and the economy will not see growth for a long time,” said Roodt.

However, the Black Business Council (BBC) said a coalition between the ANC, EFF, IFP and MK Party would be a great victory for progressive policies.

“This is a coalition of parties with many policies in common in key areas.

“This coalition also guarantees the two-thirds majority threshold which is important for constitutional amendments.”

In an ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting at the Birchwood Conference Centre in Ekurhuleni for hours late into Thursday night, Ramaphosa told the nation that his party has agreed to invite political parties to form a GNU as the best option to move the country forward.

He said the ANC had held constructive discussions with the DA, EFF, IFP, National Freedom Party (NFP) and Patriotic Alliance (PA).

“From the results of these elections, it is clear that South Africans expect their leaders to work together to meet their needs. They expect us to find common ground, to overcome our differences, and to act and work together for the good of everyone,” said Ramaphosa.

“We are committed to ensuring that a government of national unity has the means and the ability to build an inclusive economy, create jobs, end corruption, tackle crime, and improve the provision of services.

“We have also engaged with our Alliance partners to brief them on the process and will continue to seek their invaluable views and guidance,” he said.

However, the SACP rejected the possibility of including the DA in the GNU, saying it has campaigned for the ANC across the length and breadth of this country against the anti-worker neo-liberal and corrupt state capture networks.

“To maintain strategic consistency, the SACP is against seeking a coalition arrangement with the right-wing, DA-led anti-ANC neo-liberal forces.

“The core of the DA-led neo-liberal forces, highly supported by dominant sections of capital, mainly the white bourgeoisie, whose roots can be traced to the era of colonial and apartheid oppression of the black majority, organised itself into the so-called multi-party charter. This grouping also received support from Western foundations,” said the SACP.

“Neo-liberal economic restructuring, which includes retrenchments – those announced during the May 2024 election campaign period in mining and other sectors included – opposition to the national minimum wage, attacks on our collective bargaining framework, and resistance to National Health Insurance, among others – has severely impacted the workers and impoverished populations of our country,” it said.

The SACP has also rejected a possible coalition with the MK Party, saying that it has negatively impacted the ANC-led alliance and the ANC’s electoral performance.

The MK Party confirmed engagement with the ANC had taken place.

“A meeting is expected to take place soon, where the MK Party will hear the views presented with an open mind. We commit and reaffirm our commitment to engage only in the future of South Africa, which prioritises the interests of the people, especially the black majority, who are poor, unemployed, homeless, and landless, against the interests of white monopoly capital and markets,” said Nhlamulo Ndhlela, the party’s spokesperson.

Meanwhile, a number of political parties have withdrawn from the Multi-Party Charter (MPC), which is known as the Moonshot Pact that is aimed at forming a coalition against the ANC.

This is because the DA, which led the formation of this pact, is in coalition talks with the ANC. These parties include ActionSA, UIM, IFP, FFP, and ACDP.

ActionSA spokesperson Michael Beaumont said: “ActionSA will not entertain any working relationship with the ANC at any level of government.”

The UIM said it has also resigned from its charter, saying that its agreement was never to co-govern or go into any coalition with the ANC and EFF and for such an agreement to remain intact post-the 2024 elections, irrespective of the outcome.

“We are disappointed that these goals were not achieved. Even more so with the fact that some of the parties to this agreement, which the UIM upheld throughout and had the fullest intention to uphold for the duration of the MPC’s existence, felt differently and indicated their willingness and desire to enter into negotiations and coalition talks with the ANC at the last meeting of the MPC leadership,” the UIM said.

In a twist of events, the IFP, which is a signatory to the MPC, said yesterday (Friday) that it is not against GNU, saying it remains committed to giving the matter priority attention.

IFP national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said its Coalitions Task Team would now engage the ANC and other parties further and report back to the IFP National Executive Committee on Monday.

“In principle, the IFP is not averse to a GNU. However, the devil is in the details, which will become clearer in the coming days, thus enabling the IFP to make a well-considered decision.”

Following the announcement by Ramaphosa, EFF president Julius Malema said they will not work with the enemy, referring to the DA.

Equally so, the DA said it will only agree to be part of the GNU if the MK Party, EFF, and PA are excluded.

DA national spokesperson Werner Horn said Ramaphosa was not very specific in terms of the characteristics of such a government of national unity.

Political analyst, professor Sipho Seepe’s said the ball has been thrown back in Ramaphosa’s court.

“This forces the ANC to stop being spineless and take a decision. People know what the EFF stands for; their political and economic policy positions, as well as the policies of the DA, are well known. In these 30 years of democracy, the policies of the ANC have not worked, and by teaming up with the DA, the DA will dilute them further.

“We know whose interests the DA is protecting. Ramaphosa is no longer a weak leader but a wounded animal; he doesn’t want to take blame for the collapse of this country. He needs to make up his mind and take the decision as to which party he will form a coalition with, the left or the right,” said Seepe.

Weekend Argus