South Africa: The Age of Coalitions or the Age of Realignment?


South African politics sometimes gives the impression of a logjam, as if everything is standing still, partly because the different ANC factions are still trying to resolve the divided outcome of the Nasrec conference -- but pressure is building, and leaders will try to use this.

For the first time, the opposition DA appears to be suggesting it could work, to an extent, with part of the ANC.

This appears to be an attempt to send out several signals. While it is unlikely to herald any immediate change in our politics, it does reveal how constituencies with big similarities are divided by party allegiance, when in fact their interests might be better served by working together. So, it is entirely possible that a realignment does occur at some point in the future.

On Sunday, the Sunday Times published parts of an interview with the DA's leader, John Steenhuisen (its reporting on this is contested, and the DA says it's complaining to the Press Ombud over how he was quoted). Later, Steenhuisen spoke to SAfm, explaining his suggestion.

Essentially, Steenhuisen appears to be stating that he and his party are prepared to ensure that the "middle" of our politics is protected...

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