South Africa weighs a new election outcome: coalitions

With the governing ANC’s popularity in decline and the opposition joining forces, power-sharing options are on the table, writes Mohamed Cassimjee.

The World Today Published 1 December 2023 Updated 20 December 2023 3 minute READ

Mohamed Cassimjee

Former diplomat, South African foreign service

The 1994 elections in South Africa signified the birth of a new ‘rainbow nation’, and the start of the democratic journey which has seen elections since dominated by an unrivalled Africa National Congress (ANC) party.

Thirty years later, the 2024 general election could be one of the most important for the country, paving the way for a coalition government at national level. Traditional coalition governments at local and provincial levels exist, but there has never been one at national level.

A fundamental departure

It could mark the start of a new phase of South Africa’s democratic journey, as the ANC’s hold on power weakens and the electorate increasingly moves away from loyalty towards delivery. It would mark a fundamental departure internally, as well as for the international community, which has become all too familiar with the ANC as the ruling party.

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