South Africa’s ANC and DA agree to form a government of national unity

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The news

South Africa’s African National Congress party and its long-time political rival, the Democratic Alliance, have agreed to form a coalition government.

The ANC failed to win a simple majority in South Africa’s elections last month, ending its 30-year majority control of the country’s parliament after the end of apartheid and forcing the country to cut coalition partners. to search. The DA won the second largest share of the vote in the election.

“The DA has reached agreement on the declaration of intent for the formation of a government of national unity,” party leader John Steenhuisen said on Friday. “From today, the DA will co-govern the Republic of South Africa in a spirit of unity and cooperation,” he added.

The centre-right DA is generally seen as a predominantly white party. The coalition will also consist of the Inkatha Freedom Party, an ethnic Zulu party, and the right-wing Patriotic Alliance.

ANC governing body member Sihle Zikalala wrote on X that “today marks the beginning of a new era in which we put aside our differences and unite for the betterment of all South Africans.”

Knowing more

The ANC won just 40% of the vote in the country’s May 29 elections. The DA, the second largest party, achieved 22%. The ANC’s poor performance marks a tectonic shift in the way South African politics operates, and has upended the way the country has been governed since the end of white minority rule in 1994.

ANC representatives were locked in last-minute negotiations with rival parties as they rushed to agree on a coalition that would allow them to govern before the swearing-in of lawmakers in parliament on Friday.

Sources previously told Semafor Africa that parties were sparring over who would hold ministerial positions, and that they had only agreed to the gist of a plan, with the ‘meat’ yet to be hammered out.

Discussions over who would be included in the coalition flared tensions between some parties, with the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MK), led by former president Jacob Zuma, saying they would not enter into a coalition if it were led by President Cyril Ramaphosa of the ANC. And the DA said it would not join a government with the MK Party or the socialist Economic Freedom Fighters.

The MK Party could still pose problems for the ANC from the sidelines, Semafor Africa’s Sam Mkokeli wrote this week: Zuma’s party received just under 15% of the vote, despite being founded only six months ago.

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