A political storm is brewing beneath our political landscape. The African National Congress (ANC) may have lost its power grip in crucial metros but the question that will be soon be answered is how long will the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) ‘marriage of convenience’ last?
The EFF and DA entered into a coalition after the bruising ANC loss during the local government elections in August last year. Despite retaining its couple of metros, a number of its districts and local municipalities across the country, ANC’s biggest loss was when the party lost Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay and Johannesburg metros followed by Mogale City. It was the most tragic loss since the democratic dispensation. The DA – a party that has grown rapidly over the years – took control of these metros with the help of the EFF and fringe parties such as UDM, IFP and others.
While the ANC was busy licking its wounds following the loss, the DA held crucial meetings with smaller parties in a hope to forge coalition which was clouded by ideological differences and interests alike. For instance, political parties like UDM, IFP and other smaller parties hold no ideological position different to those of the DA but new players in the political terrain, like the EFF, can be characterized as quasi-revolutionary and leftist wannabes.
The EFF pose a serious threat to the DA constituencies and voter base with its land reform stance and nationalization of mines. Yet, they went on to forge what could be seen as a fragmented relationship that is meaningless to the general population but meaningful to their power aspirations. Also, they forged this relationship as a way of upsetting the ANC which has been viewed as a party led by greedy and corrupt politicians.
The recent events that have unfolded offers us a completely different dimension to this coalition. Last month, the EFF offered its 6 per cent of national elections votes to the ANC in parliament to add to its massively 62 per cent and amend the Constitution, especially section 25 which will see the land being expropriated from those who forcefully took it from blacks, without compensation. As you would have expected it, the DA quickly rose from their dogmatic slumbers and opposed the motion with an unfortunate support of the ANC.
Julius Malema’s party appears to be zigzagging on many issues in our political landscape. Supporting both the DA and ANC at some level – the EFF completely show its narrow understanding of the political implications of these two events. In the eyes of an EFF supporter, the party is deliberately playing with the power vested on them by their voters whereas in the eyes of prospective voter, the EFF lacks policy standpoint. Furthermore, the EFF leader has also said that the “EFF will cease to exist if the ANC can implement all what the Freedom Charter outlines.”
Such utterances should therefore worry the DA more than the ANC. It is interesting that the DA still feels comfortable working with the EFF in two of the country’s biggest metros while Malema continues to make such comments in public. Critically so, the DA may need to re-evaluate its coalition agreement with the EFF after certain leaders of the ANC pronounced their longing for their prodigal son and declared that the EFF’s CIC should come back to a party he once said “he will die at”. In short, the DA is sitting on melting ice during hot summer.
With the arrogance the DA mayor seem to harbour including making utterances that are perceived to incite violence between African foreign nationals and South Africans, this may come back to hunt the politically clueless Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba. The next coming months will be a period that will seriously shake our political arena. The DA-EFF coalition is again back in the spotlight. What will surprise many is that as we are preoccupied with the ANC Policy Conference and subsequently the Elective Conference debates, a wave of floods will take the country by storm when the EFF pulls away from the coalition that exists to entrench white privilege.
As leaders of the DA continue to proclaim their eternal love of colonization and the apartheid system – which survived on human rights violation – the Seshego-born son is planning a major upset with discussions to bring him back in his rightful home party continuing behind closed doors.