Opposition parties are already gearing up for the 2019 elections and are strengthening their ties in anticipation of a coalition government if the ANC’s support drops below 50% at the polls, the Democratic Alliance and the United Democratic Front (UDM) have revealed.
The ANC, which lost the metropolitan municipalities of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay to the opposition in the 2016 local government elections, will set out its election plans in its January 8 statement in East London.
The DA, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the UDM banded together to unseat the ANC in hung councils, but they have faced growing pains because of conflicting policies and clashing personalities.
But the opposition parties don’t plan to focus all their energy on unseating the governing party.
“The skill of coalition building is to listen with respect, to accept that parties come with different constituencies and divergent agendas and to [reconcile] them in pursuit of a vision that is bigger than any one of the partners,” the DA’s federal chairperson, James Selfe, said this week.
“We will continue to review and fine-tune our relationships in the run-up to 2019, so as to achieve the electoral objectives we have set for ourselves.”
The EFF was instrumental in unseating the ANC in all three major metros. Despite its decision not to enter a coalition government and remain in opposition, the red berets voted for opposition candidates in all legislatures.
The party kicked off 2018 by calling for all academically deserving students who passed matric but could not afford to study at university to apply at a tertiary institution of their choice.