Following months of negotiations and a two-day meeting, seven South African opposition parties have reached an agreement within the Multi-Party Convention to collaborate more closely as the nation approaches the 2024 elections. During the formal ceremony, leaders from these diverse parties came together to sign the Multi-Party Charter, a move they believe will pave the way for the removal of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) led by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
In a concerted effort, the participating parties have issued a call to other political entities that were not part of this formation, urging them to join forces in a collective endeavor to dethrone the ANC. Their shared concerns revolve around allegations of misgovernance and a perceived disregard for the rule of law within the country.
The upcoming 2024 elections mark a significant juncture in South African politics, with the ANC facing the unprecedented possibility of losing its parliamentary majority and subsequently the presidency. This backdrop is colored by a growing dissatisfaction with corruption, an unparalleled energy crisis, and a sluggish economy marred by high unemployment rates.
Siviwe Gwarube, a representative of the Democratic Alliance (DA), emphasized that this collaboration extends an open invitation to potential partners who align with their objectives. By joining forces, they aspire to bolster their electoral numbers. The specifics of their chances at the ballot box remain undisclosed.
In a separate coalition effort, the DA previously announced its alignment with six smaller parties in anticipation of the 2024 elections. Notably absent from this coalition is the radical left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the third largest political party in the nation.
With the DA currently holding a fifth of parliamentary seats and projected to secure around 16 percent of the vote based on polls, the coalition’s intent is explicit: to unseat the ANC, exclude the EFF, and establish a multi-party government. Neil de Beer, leader of the United Independent Movement within the coalition, emphasized the significance of departing from historical narratives, stating that the nation must move beyond its past while referencing the ANC’s prolonged rule since the end of apartheid.
The ANC, historically dominant, experienced a notable decline in the 2021 local elections as it fell below the 50 percent threshold for the first time. President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was reappointed in December, stands poised for a potential second term at the country’s helm should the ANC emerge victorious in the upcoming elections.