South Africa’s democracy is entering a new chapter. In the 2021 municipal election, no party secured more than 50 per cent of the vote for the first time in a poll since 1994. This reflected the waning of support for the long-dominant party of government and marks the potential advance toward pluralist national governance in the country, including the prospect of an executive coalition after the 2024 general election.
The Democratic Alliance (DA), the largest opposition party in South Africa, has positioned itself as the anti-corruption party and is building a reputation for effective governance in the Western Cape and metropolitan areas across the country. However, the party continues to struggle to extend its franchise beyond a core voter base and has been hampered by internal debates on ideology and strategic direction.
At this meeting, John Steenhuisen, party leader of the DA, will discuss his vision for the party and the country, including the experiences of municipal coalitions and prospects for replication at the national level. Steenhuisen will also reflect on his recent visit to Ukraine and present his vision of an alternative South African foreign policy.
This event will also be broadcast live on the Chatham House Africa Programme’s Facebook page.