Amanda Watson
News Editor
2 minute read
11 Jul 2018
5:29 pm

DA and its coalition buddies present united face for 2019

Amanda Watson

An analyst believes they will have their work cut out for them against Ramaphosa, but Gauteng could be fair game.

Picture: DA/Twitter

With the national and provincial elections now no more than a year away, political parties are ramping up their election campaigns and, for the DA, Congress of the People (Cope), African Christian Democratic Party and Freedom Front Plus, a coalition government may be the way to go.

“In Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay, we will continue to work hard to ensure that we govern in an open, transparent and people-oriented manner,” DA leader Mmusi Maimane said in Johannesburg today.

“After decades of neglect by previous ANC administrations, the people of Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay can have hope in their governments that are focused on delivering for the people. Where we govern, jobs are created, corruption is eradicated, and services are provided to all.”

Of course, politicians being politicians, Maimane – and his coalition partners of whom General Bantu Holomisa was conspicuously absent apparently due to a diary conflict – may have been polishing the truth a little but his claim the three local coalition governments passed more than R100 billion in “pro-poor” budgets for the 2018/19 financial year stands.

The passing of the budgets hasn’t been without incident, Johannesburg nearly being handed back on a platter to the ANC thanks to the EFF throwing an overall in the works – but that, too, eventually passed.

But if the coalition group – who will campaign under their own flags for the national and provincial elections – are eyeing the 2019 elections with a view to forming a national coalition government, the chances may be slim this early in the game.

“My own view is that nationally the ANC is likely to survive above 50%, so I don’t think – certainly in 2019 – we will be looking at a national coalition government,” said political analyst Daniel Silke.

“I don’t think the DA support has grown to any great degree, and I think while the EFF support may show a very moderate increase, this is relatively small fry in terms of the bigger picture.

“For that reason, and all things being equal 10 months before the election, I think President Cyril Ramaphosa will lose majority support in Gauteng, for which there will be a very tough fight,” Silke added.

“The question for the next election is will the electorate reward the DA with more votes given it has had the chance to govern in big metros? Has it done the work and ultimately presented a coherent, trustworthy image?”

Silke said this had been difficult to gauge thanks to only a few by-elections in the metros.

“But it would seem as though the DA holding the mayoral positions has not necessarily benefited the party electorally. I would argue it hasn’t adequately capitalised on being in the mayoral seats, and this would be of concern to the party.”

The way things stood now, Silke argued, the ANC could still loom large post 2019.