• D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG
rotating globe
  • D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
Semafor Logo
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG


Updated Jun 14, 2024, 10:24am EDT
africa

South Africa’s ANC and DA agree to form ‘national unity’ government

Credit: DA leader John Steenhuisen; Reuters/Nic Bothma
PostEmailWhatsapp
Title icon

The News

South Africa’s African National Congress party and its longtime political rival the Democratic Alliance have agreed to form a coalition government.

The ANC failed to secure a simple majority in South Africa’s election last month, ending its 30-year majority control of the nation’s parliament following the end of apartheid and forcing it to seek coalition partners. The DA won the second largest share of the vote in the election.

“The DA has reached agreement on the statement of intent for the formation of a government of national unity,” party leader John Steenhuisen said on Friday. “From today, the DA will co-govern the Republic of South Africa in a spirit of unity and collaboration,” he added.

AD

The center-right DA is widely seen as a predominantly white party. The coalition will also include the Inkatha Freedom Party, an ethnic Zulu party, and the right-leaning Patriotic Alliance.

Sihle Zikalala, a member of the ANC’s governing body, wrote on X that “today marks the beginning of a new era where we put our differences aside and unite for the betterment of all South Africans.”

Title icon

Know More

The ANC secured just 40% of the popular vote in the country’s May 29 election. The DA, the second-largest party, secured 22%. The ANC’s poor showing marks a tectonic shift in how South African politics operates, and has upended the way the country has been governed since the end of minority white rule in 1994.

AD

Representatives from the ANC were locked in last minute negotiations with rival parties as they raced to agree to a coalition that would allow them to govern before Friday’s swearing of lawmakers in parliament.

Sources previously told Semafor Africa that parties were sparring over who would hold ministerial positions, and that they had only agreed to the bones of a plan, with the “flesh” still set to be hammered out.

Discussions about who would be included in the coalition flared tensions between some parties, with the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MK), led by former president Jacob Zuma, saying they would not enter into a coalition if it was led by the ANC’s President Cyril Ramaphosa. And the DA said that it would not join a government with the MK party or the socialist Economic Freedom Fighters.

AD

The MK party could still pose issues for the ANC from the sidelines, Semafor Africa’s Sam Mkokeli wrote this week: Zuma’s party received just under 15% of the vote, despite being established just six months ago.

Semafor Logo
AD