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ANC: ‘We are talking to everybody’

Written by on June 6, 2024

The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) will on Thursday decide which party or parties it will form a post-election coalition with.

This follows the first round of talks about talks between it and other political parties.

The party at this stage favours the idea of convening a government of national unity, but still has to decide which of three options it is considering should be the final formulation for government for the next five years.

The ANC held a series of exploratory meetings with other parties on Monday, days after accepting the result of the national and provincial elections in which it lost its majority nationally and in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Northern Cape.

Thus far it has met the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the Democratic Alliance (DA), the National Freedom Party (NFP) and the Patriotic Alliance (PA) and has unsuccessfully attempted to initiate talks with the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party.

On Wednesday, ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri addressed a media briefing at Luthuli House at which she said the party’s national officials had held initial discussions with the other parties on Monday.

The next day they had briefed its national working committee, which had considered several proposals of what form coalitions should take and who their partners should be nationally and in the provinces.

Although the proposals include working with the DA in various ways, there is a lobby in the ANC that opposes this, arguing that it should instead work with the EFF — and even the MK party.

In response to questions, Bhengu-Mtosiri said the likely formulation was a government of national unity because “the people of South Africa said to us to put together a multi-party government”.

“Which parties will finally be part of that is the subject of the ongoing negotiations,” she said.

The ANC had reached out to “literally everyone” and would “continue to reach out to everyone in a very short space of time”, she said.

It was not only talking to “like minded parties” but was “engaging everyone on the basis of our values, our principles and our policy positions”.

“The ANC has repeatedly reached out to the MK party  for an engagement meeting, with no positive response. Our door remains open as we continue to reach out to every party that is keen to contribute positively to moving our country forward,” Bhengu-Motsiri said.

She said the ANC was working to build a national consensus on the form of government best suited to move South Africa forward.

It would “engage all parties and unite the broadest range of sectors of our population behind the urgent need to move our country out of the current potential electoral  stalemate”.

The party wanted to maintain stability and national unity to put in place a government that would “move at speed” to address South Africa’s pressing socio-economic problems.

“We believe that despite any differences we may have, working together as South Africans, we can seize this moment to usher our country into a new era of hope,” she said.

Bhengu-Motsiri  said the ANC “remains committed to ensure that we build a national   consensus to avoid any uncertainty that can lead to instability”.

The party would not abandon its principles or its commitment to transformation and would work with partners who embraced constitutionalism.

She said the NEC would “come with a clear determination” and would talk to its members, its alliance partners, civil society and the country “on our view about the immediate next steps and the future”.

The party will unveil its premier candidates for provinces where it holds an outright majority — or where it is likely to head a coalition — next week, ahead of the sitting of the provincial legislatures on 17 and 18 June.

Bhengu-Motsiri said that two of the three candidates from each province were women and their interviews would be concluded in the coming days.

The post ANC: ‘We are talking to everybody’ appeared first on The Namibian.

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