The current situation of the DA and the power of coalitions – an expert opinion

Belinda Bantham -- Thu, 11/07/2019 - 11:23

The current situation of the DA and the power of coalitions – an expert opinion

The Democratic Alliance (DA), South Africa’s main opposition party, has undergone some major changes and developments over the past few weeks.

The North-West University’s (NWU’s) Prof André Duvenhage, a political analyst, recently had an in-depth discussion with the NWU Business School’s Theo Venter about the DA’s current situation.

During their discussion, Prof Duvenhage also made a few predictions about the DA’s future, and about what other political parties need to do to supercharge their power.

“In short, over the past few years the DA’s black economic empowerment policies did not work,” said Prof Duvenhage.

“There was a reaction, which had a huge impact on the party’s leadership. In politics, it’s about interest, and not about friendship. In any strong political party, a leader often would like to duplicate their own identity in their successor.

“Helen Zille had a very strong identity in the DA, and on the other hand, Mmusi Maimane tried to create his own identity, away from Zille. The problem was that Maimane’s new direction did not deliver what was expected of him. In my opinion, that was the main reason why Maimane recently vacated his position in the DA.”

Prof Duvenhage added that in future any political party will find it difficult to get a 50% support from voters.

“Coalition politics are on the cards, and one can expect even more diversity in the South African political arena. When this is done right, political parties can position themselves very well for the coming 2021 elections.”

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