Monday, 19 August 2013

Coalition Government - The real power of Democracy

Coalition Government

The Real Power of Democracy

The only solution to the political turmoil in South Africa 

Stes de Necker

1  Clarifying the Definition

1.1  Difference between Coalition and Alliance Government

Political parties have been defined in various ways. But the myriad definitions reflect more the various perspectives and areas of emphasis of the voter’s historic and cultural background, than a fundamental difference in meaning. Consensus however exists on two key definitional issues:
Ø  That political parties are formally organised and that they aim at capturing or gaining control of the government.
Ø  The party that wins the most constituencies (constitutional system), or the most votes (proportional representation parliamentary system) forms the government.

Whether or not they win control of the government, political parties participate in the legislative authority.

There are two ways political parties participate in governance either directly as the party in power or indirectly as the opposition. The government, of course, is constituted only by the party or parties that control a majority of seats in the legislature, but the losing parties still play, or should play, a vital role in the overall oversight of governance.

When political parties fail to be elected to form the government, they form the opposition.

A political alliance or political bloc, is an agreement of cooperation between different political parties on common political agenda, often for purposes of contesting an election, to mutually benefit by collectively clearing election thresholds or otherwise benefiting from characteristics of the voting system, or for government formation before an election.

Coalitions on the other hand are formed after an election with a view to agree on the pursuance of common goals; pool their resources in order to achieve this goal; communicate and form binding commitments concerning their goal(s); and  agree on the distribution of payoffs to be received after the coalition meets its objectives.

There is therefore a major difference between a coalition and an alliance.

Within a coalition, each party retains their party specific principles and identities, whereas in an alliance, party identity and ideology are usually sacrificed on the altar of political opportunism.

The eventual demise of the National Party of South Africa after the 1994 election is a perfect example of a party which lost it moral principles and identity after its alliance with the ANC, and eventually disappeared from the political scene.

1.2  Definition of a Coalition

The Cambridge Dictionary defines coalition as: “The union of different political parties or groups for a particular purpose, usually for a limited time.”

For purposes of this discussion it is necessary however to adopt a broad operational definition of ‘Coalitions’.  A classic purpose of a parliamentary coalition will be to:
(1) agree to pursue common goals;
(2) pool their resources in order to achieve this goal;
(3) communicate and form binding commitments concerning their goal(s); and
(4) agree on the distribution of payoffs to be received after the coalition meets its objectives.

Coalition government (known in the United States as a ‘fusion administration’) can therefore be defined as ‘a cabinet of a parliamentary government in which several political parties cooperate, reducing the dominance of any one party within that coalition’.

2  International Perspective

2.1  Coalition Cabinets

Coalition cabinets are common in countries where their parliaments are proportionally representative, with several organized political parties represented. It usually does not appear in countries in which the cabinet is chosen by the executive rather than by a lower house, such as in the United States. In semi-presidential systems such as France, where the president formally appoints a prime minister but the government itself must still maintain the confidence of parliament, coalition governments occur quite regularly.

Coalition Governments run the world's largest democracies, notably India, Pakistan, Brazil and Japan. In the US, both the Democratic and Republican parties are, in effect, grand coalitions embracing a wide range of groupings across the political spectrum, with all the contradictory and internal tension that it implies. In Israel, fractious, multiparty coalitions are a constant, and constantly undermine attempts to advance key aims such as the peace process in the Middle-east.

Even in the so-called "managed democracies" found in Russia and central Asia (where they hold elections but the results are preordained), pre-poll and post-poll alliance and coalition building is the rule. In Russia, Vladimir Putin has turned this process into a fine art, rotating himself in and out of the presidency and prime minister-ship apparently at will.

In a sense, Putin is a minority government of one. North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-il, takes this approach to a logical conclusion having appointed himself leader-for-life, ostensibly to unanimous popular acclaim.

2.2  Size of a Coalition

Coalition size clearly impacts bargaining among its members and enforcement of the agreement that unites them.  Less clear is how coalition size impacts policy outputs and whether the principles of bargaining have consequences for government performance.

2.3  Advantages and Disadvantages of large coalitions

2.3.1  Disadvantages

Large coalitions have the drawback of introducing divergent preferences into the collective bargaining process.  For example, in authoritarian regimes some coalition members may demand a timetable for a transition to democracy while other members seek exit guarantees, such as job security or amnesty.  In democratic regimes, some coalition members might insist on secular governance while others demand a greater role for religion in maintaining public order.  The addition of new members means that the coalition has to take more preferences into account in order to alter the status quo and it may have to increase the number of payments in order to sustain it.
The burden of empirical evidence suggests that inclusionary governance, when it is measured by multi-party coalition governments, leads to larger budget deficits and weaker fiscal discipline.  In its World Development Report 2002, the World Bank reported “The extent to which governments are required to share power in coalition governments is an important determinant of budgetary outcomes in OECD countries.  When the power of government is checked by the need to make compromises with coalition partners, fiscal outcomes are often worse than when majority governments are in power”

Those who disapprove of coalition governments believe that such governments have a tendency to be fractious and prone to disharmony. This is because coalitions would necessarily include different parties with differing beliefs and who may not always agree on the correct path for governmental policy. Sometimes the results of an election are such that the coalitions which are mathematically most probable are ideologically infeasible, such as in Flanders or Northern Ireland. A second difficulty might be the ability of minor parties to play "kingmaker" and, particularly in close elections, gain far more for their support than their vote would otherwise indicate.

Coalition governments have also been criticized for sustaining a consensus on issues when disagreement and the consequent discussion would be more fruitful. To forge a consensus, the leaders of ruling coalition parties can agree to silence their disagreements on an issue to unify the coalition against the opposition. The coalition partners, if they control the parliamentary majority, can collude to make the parliamentary discussion on the issue irrelevant by consistently disregarding the arguments of the opposition and voting against the opposition's proposals, even if there is disagreement within the ruling parties about the issue.

Powerful parties can also act in a policratic way to form an alliance to stifle the growth of emerging parties. Of course, such an event is rare in coalition governments when compared to two-party systems, which typically exists because of stifling the growth of emerging parties, often through discriminatory nomination rules regulations and plurality voting systems, and so on.

A single, more powerful party can shape the policies of the coalition disproportionately. Smaller or less powerful parties can be intimidated to not openly disagree. In order to maintain the coalition, they will have to vote against the party's platform in the parliament. If they do not, the party has to leave the government and loses executive powers. 

2.3.2  Advantages

Larger coalitions offer several advantages: First, they reduce the political consequences of any single member’s defection.  Various studies of parliamentary governments emphasize this point.  They find that “surplus” coalitions can afford to lose members, at least in the short term (Laver and Schofield 1998).  Adding surplus members, thus creating a “minimum working coalition,” protects the coalition from potential coalition instability.  Coalition members might accept this as a reasonable trade-off even if it means they each get a slightly smaller payoff (Cooter 2000).  Secondly, members who favour the status quo coalition can expect disenchanted members to face obstacles to organizing themselves, making it difficult to defect en-mass.  As studies of collective action problems show, the mere presence of a common interest by itself is generally insufficient for individuals to actually act in concert to achieve their shared objectives.  Finally and perhaps most importantly, larger coalitions allow for increased representativeness.  This insulates the government from accusations of political exclusion and sends the public a clear message of inclusiveness.

Advocates of proportional representation suggest that a coalition government leads to more consensus-based politics, in that a government comprising differing parties (often based on different ideologies) would need to concur in regard to governmental policy.
Another stated advantage is that a coalition government better reflects the popular opinion of the electorate within a country.

A single, more powerful party can shape the policies of the coalition disproportionately. Smaller or less powerful parties can be intimidated to not openly disagree. In order to maintain the coalition, they will have to vote against the party's platform in the parliament. If they do not, the party has to leave the government and loses executive powers.

So, although persons and groups form coalitions for many and varied reasons, the most common purpose is to combat a common threat or to take advantage of a certain opportunity; hence, the often-temporary nature of coalitions. The common threat or existence of opportunity is what gives rise to the coalition and allows it to exist. Such collaborative processes can gain political influence and potentially initiate social movements. 

2.4  Coalition Governments – A worldwide phenomena

Countries which often operate with coalition cabinets include: the Nordic countries, the Benelux countries, Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Turkey, Israel, New Zealand, Kosovo, Pakistan, Kenya, India, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand and Ukraine. Switzerland has been ruled by a coalition of the four strongest parties in parliament from 1959 to 2008, called the "Magic Formula".

The United Kingdom also operates a formal coalition cabinet between the Conservative and the Liberal Democrat parties, but this is unusual because the UK normally had a majority government.

In Germany government is usually the norm, as it is rare for either the Christian-Democratic Union of Germany and Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CDU/CSU) or the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) to win an unqualified majority in a national election. Thus, at the federal level, governments are formed with at least one of the smaller parties. For example, Helmut Kohl's CDU governed for years in coalition with the Free Democratic Party (FDP), from 1998 to 2005 Gerhard Schröder's SPD was in power with the Greens and from 2009 Angela Merkel, CDU/CSU was in power with the FDP.

In Ireland, coalition governments are quite common; not since 1977 has a single party been able to form a majority government. Coalitions are typically formed of two or more parties always consisting of one of the two biggest parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, and one or more smaller parties or independent members of parliament. The current government consists of Fine Gael and the Labour Party.

In Finland, no party has had an absolute majority in the parliament since independence, and multi-party coalitions have always been the norm. Finland experienced its most stable government (Lipponen Iand II) since independence with a five-party governing coalition, a so-called "rainbow government". The Lipponen cabinets set the stability record, and were unusual in the respect that both moderate (SDP) and radical left wing (Left Alliance) parties sat in the government with the major right-wing party (National Coalition). The current Finnish cabinet is an even wider rainbow coalition of a total of six parties.

Ireland's first coalition government was formed in 1948. Ireland has had consecutive coalition governments since the 1989 general election, excluding two brief Fianna Fáil minority administrations in 1994 and 2011 that followed the withdrawal of their coalition partners from government. Before 1989, Fianna Fáil had opposed participation in coalition governments, preferring single-party minority government instead.

Irish coalition governments have traditionally been based on one of two large blocs in Dáil Éireann: either Fianna Fáil in coalition with smaller parties or independents, or Fine Gael and the Labour Party in coalition, sometimes with smaller parties. The only exception to these traditional alliances was the first Government of the 27th Dáil, comprising Fianna Fáil and the Labour Party, which ruled between 1993 and 1994. The Government of the 31st Dáil, though a traditional Fine Gael–Labour coalition, resembles a grand coalition, due to the collapse of Fianna Fáil to third place among parties in Dáil Éireann.

A similar situation exists in Israel, which has dozens of different parties with representation in the Knesset. The only faction to ever gain a majority of Knesset seats was Alignment, an alliance of the Labour Party and Mapam that held an absolute majority for a brief period from 1968 to 1969. Historically, control of the Israeli government has alternated between periods of rule by the right-wing Likud in coalition with several right-wing and religious parties and periods of rule by the centre-left Labour in coalition with several left-wing parties. Ariel Sharon's  formation of the centrist Kadima party in 2006 drew support from former Labour and Likud members, and Kadima ruled in coalition with several other parties.

In federal Australian politics, the conservative Liberal, National, Country Liberal and Liberal National parties are united in a coalition, known simply as the Coalition. The Coalition has become so stable, at least at the federal level, that in practice the lower house of Parliament has become a two-party house, with the Coalition and the Labour Party being the major parties. This coalition is also found in the states of New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria. In South Australia and Western Australia the two parties compete separately, while in the Northern Territory and Queensland, the two parties have merged, forming the Country Liberal Party in 1978, and the Liberal National Party in 2008, respectively.

In Canada, the Great Coalition was formed in 1864 by the Clear Grits,’ Parti bleu’, and Liberal-Conservative Party. During the First World War Prime Minister Robert Borden attempted to form a coalition with the opposition Liberals to broaden support for controversial conscription legislation. The Liberal Party refused the offer but some of their members did cross the floor and join the government. Although sometimes referred to as a coalition government, according to the definition above, it was not. It was disbanded after the end of the war.

During the 2008 Canadian parliamentary dispute, two of Canada's opposition parties signed an agreement to form what would become the country's second coalition government since Confederation if the minority Conservative government was defeated on a vote of no-confidence; unseating Stephen Harper as Prime Minister. The agreement outlined a formal coalition consisting of two opposition parties, the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party. The’Bloc Québécois’ agreed to support the proposed coalition on confidence matters for 18 months. In the end, parliament was prorogued by the Governor General and the coalition dispersed following the election.

LebanonBrazilDenmarkFinlandGermanyIndiaIndonesiaIrelandIsraelItaly JapanMexico, the Netherlands, NewZealand,NorwayPakistanPortugalSerbiaSpain, Sweden,SyriaTaiwan and Philippines (source:Politics of the Philippines) are examples of nations that have used a multi-party system effectively in their democracies. In these countries, usually no single party has a parliamentary majority by itself. Instead, multiple political parties form coalitions for the purpose of developing power blocks for governing.

In some multi-party systems, only two or three parties have a substantial chance of forming a government with or without forming a coalition. An example of this is the United Kingdom, where only the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, and the Liberal Democrats have a serious chance to win enough seats to be a part of the government; the Liberal Democrats have never had enough seats to form a Government, but have held enough seats to contribute to a Coalition. To date, the Liberal Democrats have been in power only once in a coalition, which is the incumbent Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition. This is also the case in Canada, where majority governments are very common.

A two-party system requires voters to align themselves in large blocs, sometimes so large that they cannot agree on any overarching principles. Some theories argue that this allows centrists to gain control. On the other hand, if there are multiple major parties, each with less than a majority of the vote, the parties are strongly motivated to work together to form working governments. This also promotes centrism, as well as promoting coalition-building skills while discouraging polarization.

2.5   Coalition forming – Practices and Complexities

In most western-style democracies, minority or coalition governments are the rule rather than the exception. But while such arrangements can and do deliver stable governance, they can also produce improbable, short-lived pairings of political opposites, ugly alliances, sudden calamities and gross distortions of the popular will.

New Zealand, abandoned the system of “Winner takes all’ in favour of the mixed member proportional (MMP) system in 1996. Since then, neither of the two main parties, National and Labour, has obtained an overall parliamentary majority. Smaller parties and minorities have increased their representation and the country has mostly been governed by minority administrations.

In 2005, New Zealand became the first country in the world to be entirely ruled by women, namely (in descending order) the Queen, governor-general Dame Silvia Cartwright, prime minister Helen Clark, speaker of the House of Representatives Margaret Wilson, and chief justice Dame Sian Elias.

Finland can also claim some sort of record: it has never had a majority government since gaining independence from Russia in 1917. Like the other Nordic countries and the states of northern Europe, election days are seen as merely the beginning of a frequently protracted negotiating period over the composition of the next government.

In Germany in 2005, the federal election result was so close that the CDU's Angela Merkel was forced into a so-called "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats that, while it survived a full term, was broadly ineffective. German voters however kicked out the coalition, replacing it with another less grand coalition.

In Germany, unlike Britain, people know with a fair degree of certainty what coalition line ups are on offer before they vote. In the UK, it remains painfully unclear at present which way the Lib Dems will jump. In Germany, the conservative CDU/CSU routinely pairs off with the liberal Free Democrats, and the SPD with the Greens – so you know what you're getting before you vote.

The situation gets more complicated elsewhere, as in Belgium and the Netherlands, where five or six parties may all have to agree before a joint administration is formed. These endlessly confusing permutations, can paralyse a government.

Choleric coalition disputes were the main reason why Belgium was without any kind of government at all for a record 194 days in 2007-2008, and why its new government collapsed. It's why calamity befell the Dutch earlier, after their coalition fatally split over whether to pull troops out of Afghanistan. And it's why, in Italy and Austria, far-right parties, that arguably have no place in the democratic arena, have won power.

Coalitions run the world's largest democracies, notably India, Pakistan, Brazil and Japan. In the US, both the Democratic and Republican parties are, in effect, grand coalitions embracing a wide range of groupings across the political spectrum – with all the contradictory and  internal tension that it  implies. In Israel, fractious, multiparty coalitions are a constant, and constantly frustrate attempts to advance key aims such as the peace process in the Middle-east.

2.6  The Coalition Government of Denmark

The political system of Denmark is that of a multi-party structure, where several parties are represented in Parliament at any one time. Danish governments are often characterised by minority administrations, aided with the help of one or more supporting parties. This means that Danish politics is based on consensus politics. Since 1909, no single party has had the majority in Parliament.

The Constitutional Act, which sets out the fundamental principles for the political system in Denmark, does not mention political parties, because when the Act was introduced in 1849, no such parties had been formed. Yet today, they play a major role in political life. As in many other countries, the principles governing politics in Denmark go far beyond the basic rules written down in the constitution, and tradition, practical considerations and social developments in general, contribute greatly to the conditions for political life.

In principle, anybody can join a political party, but all members must comply with the party’s regulations and agree to the party programme. It is not possible to be a member of more than one party at a time. About 180,000 Danes are members of a political party at present.

2.6.1  The Danish electoral system

Seats in the Danish Parliament are distributed in accordance with a method known as proportional representation. This is a fairly complicated, but mathematically fair, method of distributing votes.

The system guarantees that political parties gain seats in the Danish Parliament in proportion to the number of votes cast for them throughout the country. For example, if a party wins 10 per cent of the votes, it must also have 10 per cent of the seats in the Parliament. 

2.6.2   Distributing seats in the Danish Parliament

Denmark is divided into ten large multimember constituencies, which are in turn divided into smaller nomination districts. Each multimember constituency is allotted a number of constituency seats.

The constituency seats are distributed between the parties in proportion to the number of votes they have won in the individual constituencies. The distribution of the constituency seats ensures that all parts of the country are represented in Parliament, and not just the big cities where the majority of voters live.

When the constituency seats have been distributed, the compensatory seats are distributed in a way that ensures that each party receives a number of seats corresponding to the number of votes won at national level.

Since 3rd October 2011, the present Government has consisted of the parties Social Democrats, Social Liberals and Socialist People´s Party. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, from the Social Democrats is the Prime Minister.

At present, the following political parties are represented in the Danish Parliament:

                                                                                                  Number of Seats
Venstre (The Liberal Party) (V)                                                          47
Socialdemokratiet (The Social Democratic Party) (S)                       45
Dansk Folkeparti (The Danish People’s Party) (DF)                          22       
Radikale Venstre (The Social Liberal Party) (RV)                              17
Socialistisk Folkeparti (The Socialist People’s Party) (SF)                15
Enhedslisten (The Unity List) (EL)                                                      12
Liberal Alliance (Liberal Alliance) (LA)                                                 9
Det Konservative Folkeparti (The Conservative Party) (KF)             8
Inuit Ataqatigiit (Greenland) (IA)                                                        1
Siumut (Greenland) (SIU)                                                                    1
Sambandsflokkurin (The Faroe Islands) (SP)                                     1
Javnaðarflokkurin (The Faroe Islands) (JF)                                       1
Total number of Members                                                                179

2.7  Conclusion

Like most things in life Coalition Government has its upsides and downsides. The good thing about coalition government is that it forces winners of elections still to compromise on their plan and show an ability to work together for the common good, creating a broader basis of support in the population for government policies. On the down side, as seen in many countries where you usually have coalition governments, is that voters expect the outcome in favour of the big winner. Seeing the political party of their choice compromise, sometimes even with the party they voted against, cause them to feel betrayed, wondering if it really mattered why they voted anyway. In a system of coalition government everyone has to compromise, even the biggest winner can never completely carry out the platform they ran on and that can be disappointing leaving voters frustrated. In the worst case scenario frustrated voters can lose faith in Democracy all together.

On the other hand, a government formed by a multi-party coalition tends to have certain advantages over one consisting of only a single party. Among them are:
Ø  reconciliation of differing ideas
Ø  more accurate reflection of popular opinion

Because the various parties that united to form the coalition are often based on different, and even conflicting, ideologies, it often becomes necessary for them to compromise these ideologies in order to come to an agreement on government policy. This compromising of ideologies often results in broader representation.

Another positive result that comes with coalitions is greater policy scrutiny. Two different parties reflect a greater spectrum of the voting population, so in theory such a larger portion benefits from the coalition union. Issues that would be dismissed by a single party government have greater weight when other parties become part of the mix. Undemocratic or controversial legislation has accordingly considerably less chance of being passed.

Responsible and well designed coalitions within socially heterogeneous democracies (multi party democracies), can in fact be a more effective form of democratic government than in a homogeneous democracy, where only one or two political parties exist. 

3  The South African Perspective

3.1  Representivity

South Africa has a proportional representation parliamentary system with 13 parties represented in the National Assembly.

The African National Congress is the majority party, with 264 of the 400 National Assembly seats. The party also controls eight of the country's nine provinces, with the exception of the Western Cape, where the Democratic Alliance won the majority in the 2009 elections. The ANC also controls five of the six metropolitan municipalities.

South Africa’s Parliament is made up of two houses: the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces.

The National Assembly is the more influential, passing legislation and overseeing executive performance. Its members are elected for a term of five years. All South African citizens over the age of 18 are eligible to vote. So far, South Africa has had fully inclusive democratic elections in 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009.

A controversial feature of the South African political system, now abolished, was floor crossing. Members of political parties appointed to the national, provincial and local legislatures had two opportunities during their term, two weeks long and spaced two years apart, to cross the floor and join another party.

This was controversial as party delegates are not directly voted into their positions. Votes are cast for the party itself, which then appoints representatives. It also created political parties in Parliament - currently three - that never stood for a single election.

In August 2008 Parliament abolished the practice, in time to prevent the current term's second floor-crossing window, which was due to begin on 9 September of that year.

% votes cast 2009
Seats in National Assembly 2009 
Seats in National Assembly April 2004
Seats in National Assembly Sept 2007* 
African National Congress 
Democratic Alliance 
Congress of the People 
Inkatha Freedom Party 
Independent Democrats 
United Democratic Movement 
Freedom Front Plus 
African Christian Democratic Party 
United Christian Democratic Party 
Pan Africanist Congress 
Minority Front 
Azanian People's Organisation 
African People's Convention 
National Alliance
Federation of Democrats 
National Democratic Convention
New National Party 

3.2  Synopsis of the main political parties.
3.2.1  African National Congress (ANC)

(264 seats in the National Assembly)

The South African Native National Congress was founded in 1912 with the aim of bringing Africans together to defend their rights and fight for freedom. In 1923 its name was changed to the African National Congress (ANC).

Following the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, the party was banned by the Nationalist Government. From 1961 organised acts of sabotage began, marking the emergence of ‘Umkhonto we Sizwe’, the armed wing of the ANC. The ANC was to be an underground and exiled organisation for the next 30 years.

In February 1990, the government unbanned the ANC and released Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners. The ANC was again able to openly recruit members and establish regional structures.

In the historic 1994 elections the ANC won 62% of the vote. Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first democratically elected president. In the 1999 elections the party increased its majority to a point short of two-thirds of the total vote. A two-thirds majority allows a party to change the Constitution. Thabo Mbeki succeeded Mandela as president of the country.

ANC policy is to increase economic growth and reduce poverty. The Freedom Charter remains the party's basic policy document. Adopted in June 1955 by the ANC and its allies, the charter lists principles upon which a democratic South Africa should be built.

In 1994 the ANC adopted the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) as a policy framework to guide it in transforming South Africa from a divided society to one that provides equal opportunities for all its citizens. The four main principles of the RDP are:
Ø  meeting the people's basic needs, such as housing, water and electricity;
Ø  developing the country's human resources;
Ø  building the economy; and
Ø  democratising state institutions and society.

In 1996 the ANC adopted the Growth, Employment and Redistribution macroeconomic strategy, or ‘Gear’. This is a strategy for rebuilding and restructuring the economy in line with the main principles of the RDP.

In the 2004 elections the party retained its two-thirds majority (69.7%), but lost it in the 2009 elections, when its majority fell to 64.9% 

3.2.2 Democratic Alliance (DA)

(67 seats in the National Assembly)

The Democratic Alliance, formerly known as the Democratic Party (DP), espouses liberal democracy and free market principles. The party's forerunner was the Progressive Federal Party (PFP), whose veteran politician Helen Suzman was its only representative in the white Parliament for many years. Suzman upheld liberal policies in the apartheid-era legislature and spoke out against apartheid laws.

In the 1980s the party increased its Parliamentary seats to seven. Among the new MPs was Tony Leon, who became DP leader in 1996, introducing a more aggressive approach to opposition politics.

The DP's campaign slogan for the 1999 elections - "Fight Back" - gained it a substantial number of white voters who were disillusioned with the New National Party. It increased its share of the vote from 1.7% in 1994 to about 10% in 1999 (as the former DP), 12.4% in 2004 and 16.6% in 2009.

In 2000 the DP joined forces with the New National Party to form the Democratic Alliance (DA). But the NNP withdrew from the pact in late 2001, and was disbanded in 2004. Leon resigned as party head in 2007, to be replaced by Helen Zille, who was also executive mayor of the Cape Town metro. Zille has since become the premier of the Western Cape, and was replaced as mayor in April 2009 by Dan Plato.

The DA seeks to promote:
Ø  a prosperous, open-opportunity society in which every person is free and equal before the law;
Ø  a spirit of mutual respect, inclusivity and participation among the diverse people of South Africa;
Ø  a free enterprise economy driven by choices, risks and hard work; and
Ø  a vigorous, critical and effective opposition that is loyal to the constitutional order and promotes the well-being of the country. 

3.2.3 Congress of the People (Cope)

(30 seats in the National Assembly)

The Congress of the People (Cope) is a new party that contested its first in April 2009, winning 7.42% of the vote. It was formed by breakaway ANC members dissatisfied with that organisation's decision to "recall" then-President Thabo Mbeki in September 2008 and replace him with Kgalema Motlanthe.

Cope was launched in early November 2008 at the November Convention held in Johannesburg. Its prominent members include Mosiuoa Lekota, the former minister of defence who resigned from Cabinet after Mbeki stepped down, as well as former Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa, former Congress of South African Trade Unions president Willie Madisha, and Barney Pityana, the vice-chancellor and principal of the University of South Africa.

At the November Convention, Cope adopted the following principles in its declaration:
Ø  Supremacy of the Constitution
Ø  Building social cohesion based on values we can all defend
Ø  Freedom and equality before the law
Ø  Participatory democracy 

3.2.4 Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)

(18 seats in the National Assembly)

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), led by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, draws its support largely from Zulu-speaking South Africans. Its strongholds are the rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal and the migrant workers' hostels in the metropolitan areas of Gauteng.

Buthelezi has led the IFP since he founded it as the Inkatha National Cultural Liberation Movement in 1975. His political career dates back to the 1940s, when he joined the ANC Youth League while studying at Fort Hare University.

In 1953 he took up a position as chief of the Buthelezi clan, and in 1970 was appointed head of the KwaZulu Territorial Authority in terms of the apartheid-era Bantu Administration Act. He became the homeland's chief minister in 1976.

Inkatha was transformed into a political party in July 1990, championing federalism as the best political option for South Africa.

The IFP supports the government's ‘Gear’ macroeconomic strategy, but argues that it has been introduced in too tentative and piecemeal a manner. The party argues for revitalising the economy through a "re-prioritisation" of economic policy, based on four pillars:
Ø  attracting increased levels of direct fixed investment;
Ø  facilitating the competitive development of business in South Africa;
Ø  managing the high expectations and demand for social delivery; and
Ø  introducing more cost-effective fiscal management in government.

The IFP also believes in integrating traditional leadership into the system of governance by recognising traditional communities as models of societal organisation. Buthelezi heads KwaZulu-Natal's House of Traditional Leaders, which advises the government on issues relating to traditional leaders.

Since the 1994 elections, members of the IFP have occupied Cabinet positions at national level. Since the elections of 2009 the IFP is one of six parties in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature, where it holds 18 seats to the ANC's 51.

3.2.5.  Independent Democrats (ID)

(Four seats in the National Assembly)

The Independent Democrats are a South African political party, formed by former Pan Africanist Congress member Patricia de Lille in 2003 via floor crossing legislation. The party's platform is premised on opposition to corruption, with a mixture of right-liberal proposals and left-wing sensibilities. The party's strongholds are the Northern and Western Cape.

The Independent Democrats (ID) is one of South Africa's newest mainstream political party. De Lille is a former trade unionist and a long-time member of, and MP for the Pan Africanist Congress, which she left to form the ID.

De Lille has gained massive support for her forthright stand against corruption.

A 2004 survey revealed her to be South Africa's favourite opposition politician.

With the motto "Back to Basics", the ID's policies are fairly centrist. The party is at one with the ANC on the economy, health and jobs, although De Lille outspokenly differed with the ANC's earlier policies on HIV/Aids.

"We are not going to be branded communist, socialist or capitalist. We are going to be constitutionalists," De Lille said at the party's launch. The ID claims a signed-up membership of 13 000.

In the 2004 survey, De Lille was found to be the most trusted politician among coloured voters and was second favourite in the White and Indian communities. The ID is seen to have attracted former DA supporters, people disillusioned with that party's ill-fated alliance with the NNP.

On 15 August 2010, the party announced plans to merge with the larger Democratic Alliance as part of a plan to challenge the governing African National Congress (ANC). The party will disband as a separate political organization in 2014.

3.2.6  United Democratic Movement (UDM)

(Four seats in the National Assembly)

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) was formed in 1997 by Bantu Holomisa, who was expelled from the ANC after accusing a top party official of corruption. Holomisa, the former military strongman in the former homeland of the Transkei, teamed up with Roelf Meyer, a former Nationalist Party Cabinet minister, to form a new party. Meyer later left politics to pursue other interests.

The UDM sees itself as a contender for power with the ANC. Holomisa says his party is aiming to become an alternative government. His party campaigns around issues which it believes the government is handling badly.

3.2.7  Front Plus (FF+)

(Four seats in the National Assembly)

The Freedom Front was formed in 1993 by Constand Viljoen, the former chief of the South African Defence Force. Viljoen came out of retirement to lead a group of Afrikaners who wanted to form a political party.

As head of the Afrikaner Volksfront, Viljoen was instrumental in convincing conservative Afrikaners to participate in the new dispensation, through which, he argued, the issue of self determination should be taken up.

The new Freedom Front Plus, headed by Pieter Mulder, has four seats in the National Assembly and single provincial seats in Gauteng, the Free State, Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape and North West.

3.2.8  African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP)

(Three seats in the National Assembly)

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) was formed in December 1993 with the aim of representing South African Christians in Parliament. It won two seats in 1994 and six in 1999.

The ACDP was the only party in the National Assembly that voted against the adoption of the Constitution in 1994, citing moral and Biblical objections to some of the document's clauses – particularly the rights of gays and lesbians.

According to its manifesto, the ACDP stands for "Christian principles, freedom of religion, a free market economy, family values, community empowerment and human rights in a federal system"

3.2.9  United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP)

(Three seats in the National Assembly)

The United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP) was formed by Lucas Mangope, head of the apartheid-era "homeland" of Bophuthatswana. Mangope was among the first homeland leaders to accept so-called independence for his scattered country for the Setswana-speaking people. The UCDP was the only party allowed to operate in the territories under his control

3.2.10  Pan Africanist Congress (PAC)

(One seat in the National Assembly)

The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) was formed in 1959 as a breakaway from the ANC. Influenced by the Africanist ideals of Kwame Nkrumah, it promotes the return of the land to the indigenous people.

The PAC was outlawed with the ANC in 1960 after the Sharpeville massacre. Its leaders were exiled or detained for long periods. These included Robert Sobukwe, its founder and leader, who was incarcerated in Robben Island until 1969 and then placed under house arrest until his death in 1978.

The party's support has been steadily eroded since 1994, with voters favouring the ANC.

A major blow was the 2003 defection of PAC MP Patricia de Lille to form her own party, the Independent Democrats. Another was the September 2007 floor-crossing of PAC deputy president Themba Godi and former secretary-general Mofihli Likotsi, who left the PAC to form the African People's Convention, leaving the party with a single seat in the National Assembly

3.2.11  Minority Front (MF)

(One seat in the National Assembly)

The Minority Front is led by the maverick Amichand Rajbansi, and claims to represent the interests of the Indian community. Apart from its two seats in the National Assembly, the party is also represented in the Durban metropolitan council.

3.2.12  Azanian People's Organisation (Azapo)

(One seat in the National Assembly)

The Azanian People's Organisation (Azapo) preaches the philosophy of black emancipation and black consciousness, a philosophy popularised by Steve Biko, who was killed in police cells in 1977.

3.2.13  African People's Convention (APC) 

(One seat in the National Assembly)

The African People's Convention Azanian People’s Convention was created out of the 2007 defection of two prominent PAC members of parliament. It was the only party created by floor-crossing to contest the 2009 elections.

3.2.14  Parties not represented in Parliament but who played a major role in South Africa’s politics  South African Communist Party (SACP)

The South African Communist Party (SACP) is not officially represented in Parliament, but a number of its members occupy seats by virtue of their dual ANC membership.

The party was re-launched as an underground party in 1953 after its predecessor, the Communist Party of South Africa, was banned in 1950.

Formed in 1921, the Communist Party of South Africa was predominantly white, but later on attracted black intellectuals, who in turn recruited black workers into its ranks. In 1946, one of its leading members, JB Marks, led 100 000 black miners in a strike that contributed to the party's banning in 1950.

The SACP has had a close working relationship with the ANC since the 1960s, when anti-apartheid organisations were forced to operate from exile. Members of both organisations held dual membership and served in the structures of both bodies.

The party's membership overlaps with those of the ANC and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), its partners in what is known as the tripartite alliance. It has significant representation in the ANC and government, from the executive down to local government structures.

The party believes in the establishment of a socialist society, which it says should be characterised by democracy, equality, freedom, and the socialisation of the predominant part of the economy.

The SACP and Cosatu have openly disagreed with the government's macroeconomic strategy, Gear, and the privatisation of state assets, arguing that the policy has failed to create jobs.  New National Party (NNP)

The New National Party (NNP), formerly the Nationalist Party, ruled South Africa for the 40-plus years of the apartheid era, from 1948 to 1994. The second-largest party after the first democratic elections in 1994, its voter base has largely abandoned it in the years after 1994.

In the 1994 elections the NNP, led by FW de Klerk, gained 20% of the vote, making it the official opposition to the ANC government. It also won a majority of votes in the Western Cape Province, giving it control of the provincial legislature.

The NNP, along with the IFP, joined Nelson Mandela's government of national unity after the 1994 elections. De Klerk was one of two executive deputy presidents, the other being the ANC's Thabo Mbeki, and NNP members occupied important Cabinet positions. This ANC-NNP coalition also extended to the Western Cape, where the two parties shared executive posts.

The NNP, however, withdrew from the government of national unity in 1996, leaving the ANC and IFP as the only partners in Cabinet.

Marthinus van Schalkwyk took over the leadership of the NNP in 1997, at a time when the party was facing an organisational crisis as well as increasing defections to opposing parties.

After suffering heavy losses in the 1999 elections, the NNP joined forces with the DP and the Federal Alliance to form the Democratic Alliance in July 2000, making the NNP and DP the ruling coalition in the Western Cape.

Just over a year later, in October 2001, the NNP withdrew from the Democratic Alliance, throwing the Western Cape political situation into political turmoil.

In August 2004 the NNP's national executive took a unanimous decision to dissolve the party.

The party's former leader, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, is now minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in the ANC Government.

Schedule A gives a summary of the policies of the parties represented in the South African Parliament.

4  Favourable conditions for Coalition forming 

When comparing the principle policies of the different parties represented in the South African Parliament, anyone who asks the question, “So what are the real differences?”, will rightfully have to be excused.

On face value it would appear that there are no major principle differences!

The primary difference however lies not in the proclaimed policy statements, but rather in the manner in which these political objectives and principles are being implemented.

4.1  The Freedom Charter (1955)

The Freedom Charter of the ANC was, and still is, a unique document in that for the first time ever, the people of South Africa were actively involved in formulating their own vision of an alternative society which totally rejects Government oppression and exploitation .

The notion of a Charter was first mooted at the annual Congress of the African National Congress in August 1953. Prof Z K Mathews formally suggested convening a Congress of the People (C.O.P.) to draw up the Freedom Charter. The idea was adopted by the allies of the ANC, the South African Indian Congress, the South African Coloured People's Organization and the South African Congress of Democrats.

The Congress of the People was not a single event but a series of campaigns and rallies, huge and small, held in houses, flats, factories, kraals, on farms and in the open. The National Action Council enlisted volunteers to publicize the C.O.P, educate the people, note their grievances and embark on a "million signatures campaign".

Thus when the people met on the 25th and 26th June 1955, the Congress of the People that was convened in Kliptown near Johannesburg, represented a crucial historical moment in establishing a new order based on the will of the people. It brought together 2,844 delegates from all over the country. The Freedom Charter proclaims that ''South Africa belongs to all who live in it" and that "all shall be equal before the law". It pledged to continue the struggle until a new democratic order was put into place.

The Charter, which was subsequently endorsed and adopted at the Congress of the People at Kliptown, Johannesburg, on 25th and 26th June, 1955, is a significant document which embodied the hopes and aspirations of the majority of the people of South Africa.

The Freedom Charter


We, the people of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know:
That South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of the People;

That our people have been robbed of their birthright to land, liberty and peace by a form of government founded on injustice and inequality;

That our country will never be prosperous or free until all our people live in brotherhood, enjoying equal rights and opportunities;

That only a democratic state, based on the will of all the people, can secure to all their birthright without distinction of colour, race, sex or belief;

And therefore we, the People of South Africa, black and white together - equals, countrymen and brothers - adopt this Freedom Charter. And we pledge ourselves to strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage, until the democratic changes here set out have been won. 


Every man and woman shall have the right to vote for and to stand as a candidate for all bodies which make laws;
All people shall be entitled to take part in the administration of the country;
The rights of the people shall be the same, regardless of race, colour or sex;
All bodies of minority rule, advisory boards, councils and authorities, shall be replaced by democratic organs of self-government. 


There shall be equal status in the bodies of the state, in the courts and in the schools for all national groups and races;
All people shall have equal right to use their own languages and to develop their own folk culture and customs;
All national groups shall be protected by law against insults to their race and national pride;
The preaching and practice of national, race or colour discrimination and contempt shall be a punishable crime;
All apartheid laws and practices shall be set aside.


The national wealth of our country, the heritage of all South Africans, shall be restored to the people;
The mineral wealth beneath the soil, the banks and the monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole;
All other industry and trade shall be controlled to assist the well-being of the people;
All people shall have equal rights to trade where they choose, to manufacture and to enter all trades, crafts and professions.


Restriction of land ownership on a racial basis shall be ended, and all the land re-divided amongst those who work it, to banish famine and land hunger;
The state shall help the peasants with implements, seed, tractors and dams to save the soil and assist the tillers;
Freedom of movement shall be guaranteed to all who work on the land;
All shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose;
People shall not be robbed of their cattle, and forced labour and farm prisons shall be abolished.


No one shall be imprisoned, deported or restricted without a fair trial;
No one shall be condemned by the order of any government official;
The courts shall be representative of all the people;
Imprisonment shall be only for serious crimes against the people, and shall aim at re-education, not vengeance;
The police force and army shall be open to all on an equal basis and shall be the helpers and protectors of the people;
All laws which discriminate on grounds of race, colour or belief shall be repealed.


The law shall guarantee to all their right to speak, to organize, to meet together, to publish, to preach, to worship, and to educate their children;
The privacy of the house from police raids shall be protected by law;
All shall be free to travel without restriction from countryside to towns, from province to province, and from South Africa abroad;
Pass laws, permits and all other laws restricting these freedoms shall be abolished.


All who work shall be free to form trade unions, to elect their officers and to make wage agreements with their employers;
The state shall recognize the right and duty of all to work, and to draw full unemployment benefits;
Men and women of all races shall receive equal pay for equal work;
There shall be a forty-hour working-week, a national minimum wage, paid annual leave, and sick leave for all workers, and maternity leave on full pay for all working mothers;
Miners, domestic workers, farm workers and civil servants shall have the same rights as all others who work;
Child labour, compound labour, the tot system and contract labour shall be abolished.


The government shall discover, develop and encourage national talent for the enhancement of our cultural life;
All the cultural treasures of mankind shall be open to all, by free exchange of books, ideas and contact with other lands;
The aim of education shall be to teach the youth to love their people and their culture, to honor human brotherhood, liberty and peace;
Education shall be free, compulsory, universal and equal for all children;
Higher education and technical training shall be opened to all by means of state allowances and scholarships awarded on the basis of merit;
Adult illiteracy shall be ended by a mass state educational plan;
Teachers shall have all the rights of other citizens;
The colour bar in cultural life, in sport and in education shall be abolished.


All people shall have the right to live where they choose, to be decently housed and to bring up their families in comfort and security;
Unused housing space shall be made available to the people;
Rent and prices shall be lowered, food plentiful and no one shall go hungry;
A preventive health scheme shall be run by the state;
Free medical care and hospitalization shall be provided for all, with special care for mothers and young children;
Slums shall be demolished, and new suburbs built where all have transport, roads, lighting, playing fields, crèches and social centres;
The aged, the orphans, the disabled and the sick shall be cared for by the state;
Rest, leisure and recreation shall be the right of all;
Fenced locations and ghettoes shall be abolished and laws which break up families shall be repealed.


South Africa shall be a fully independent state, which respects the rights and sovereignty of all nations;
South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiation - not war;
Peace and friendship amongst all our people shall be secured by upholding equal rights, opportunities and status for all;
The people of the protectorates- Basutoland, Bechuanaland and Swaziland shall be free to decide for themselves their own future;
The right of the peoples of Africa to independence and self-government shall be recognized and shall be the basis of close co-operation.

Let all who love their people and their country now say, as we say here:


Considering the current state of affairs in South Africa, nobody will be blamed  for asking what happened to the noble aspirations adopted by the people in 1955. It would even appear that the charter was repealed by Government without telling anybody about it!

4.2  Increased frustration amongst South African Citizens

The following article, which appeared in the Financial Times of 27 September 2012, serves as an excellent example of the frustration and disappointment amongst most South Africans with the way and manner the current Government discharges its imposed duties:

South Africa drifts under Jacob Zuma

“In the 18 years since the end of white minority rule, South Africa has rarely looked so shaky. Mining, the bedrock of the old economy, is in crisis as costs rise and commodity prices fall. Wildcat strikes are spreading across the industry and into other sectors. Companies are losing production, and the recognized unions, with which business was able to barter in the past, have lost influence over the labour force. Equally worrying, the political atmosphere is not only charged but increasingly poisonous. Opportunists such as Julius Malema, the disgraced former youth leader of the African National Congress, are exploiting a leadership vacuum to publicize the broader failures of the post-apartheid state and whip up support from the disenfranchised.

There is much that is great about South Africa, not least the peaceful transition from apartheid and the spirit of tolerance that has existed since. But Jacob Zuma, the president, has failed to grasp how this legacy is now under threat nor has he understood that the current crisis is a symptom of much deeper malaise. On Wednesday he addressed the UN General Assembly, and avoided the subject altogether. Back home he has failed to take charge and barely visited the mines. Instead he has put off dealing with the thornier issues until the ruling ANC policy conference in December. He assumes that the strikes will end with negotiation and compromise.

The immediate conundrum is not an easy one. After the massacre by police at Marikana of 34 striking mineworkers last month, Lonmin eventually bowed to public pressure and raised wages. It has succeeded in getting its platinum mines back in operation but at the cost of its profitability. Moreover, that concession has encouraged other miners to strike. There is no happy solution for an industry which is already operating on thin margins. If the mining houses cave in to workers’ wage demands, it will be at the cost of jobs. They will be forced to shut marginal mines. Yet if they tough it out, the strikes are liable to escalate and more production and possibly even lives will be lost.

The only other option is for the government to suppress the strikes by force. This is not a decision the ANC can take.

So, a wage increase may be the only way. The problem is that the industry will be smaller and less competitive as a result.

Miners are already South Africa’s best-paid workers. But by comparison with the ruling black elite they are paupers. It may be possible for the government and industry to win some breathing space by buying them and other workers off. But this will solve only a small part of the problem.

Restructuring the whole economy is the bigger and more important challenge. A small elite within the ANC has in effect bought into the apartheid economy it found in 1994. Remarkably, South Africa in terms of income distribution has become even more unequal since. What is needed to address that is much more than a debate about wages.

Radical reforms to education, the labour market, business regulation and land ownership are needed to spur labour-intensive sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture. South Africa’s economy has grown on average by 3.6 per cent over the past decade. Even that pace of growth, far short of what is needed to absorb the legions of unemployed, is now faltering.

The necessary reforms will be painful. But deferring them, as the ANC wants to do, is not an option if further unrest is to be avoided. When the party meets for its five-yearly congress, it will decide whether Mr. Zuma is the man to chart the course. South Africa should be at the forefront of continental growth. But for too long the ANC has deferred the tough decisions.

That is why South Africa is now at a dangerous impasse.”

In a recent edition of Business Day, DR LUCAS NTYINTHYANE of Bloemfontein wrote:

“Violence and the daily dose of errors by political leadership are symbolic of a bigger and deeper malaise. Only those living in cloud cuckoo land will say everything is kosher.

Our country has become a comedian's paradise. A comedy of errors that is denting our image.
Commentators and analysts are pointing to the lack of political leadership. Everything else is a symptom of an absent leadership. It started with Thabo Mbeki.

Please don't blame President Jacob Zuma. It is not his fault. In an ideal world, Mr Zuma should have been banned from entering the Union Buildings. He is not fit to lead this country. Neither are Kgalema Motlanthe, Thabo Mbeki, Tokyo Sexwale or Mathews Phosa. They are part of the problem and cannot offer any viable leadership solution. Thanks to the selfishness of the African National Congress (ANC), we have Mr Zuma as a president.

Mr Zuma and the ANC, you don't own the country. You manage it on behalf of the electorate. This means a responsible, answerable leadership.”

This feeling of dissatisfaction is not limited to South Africa only.

The National Chairman of the Australian Protectionist Party, Andrew Phillips, called upon both the Federal Labour government and the Opposition to unanimously support the re-introduction of sanctions upon South Africa.

"It is becoming increasingly clear the situation in South Africa warrants international attention once again", Phillips said. "Despite noble announcements by the African National Congress (ANC) of its intent to make South Africa an egalitarian society in which all people could live in harmony and have equal opportunity-the reality is quite different."

His calls follow Woolworths SA asking that only "African Black candidates" apply for certain posts in job advertisements and South African Airways saying it will only appoint black pilots to its cadet pilot training programme.

Phillips said "Australia is dragging its feet in recognising the reality of the New South Africa. Euro MPs Barry Madlener and Lucas Hartong have already called for the EU to cease giving millions in aid to South Africa and have already raised the issue of what can only be described as cultural genocide in that country."

The Australian Protectionist Party recognises the right of all people, irrespective of racial, cultural or religious background to a safe homeland, self determination and the opportunity to control their national destiny in an increasingly globalised world.

"With the advent of so-called majority rule, minorities such as the Afrikaner communities are experiencing ever increasing disadvantage and persecution based on the colour of their skin" Phillips said.

"The South African government has done little to protect the lives of the nation's farmers and their families, actively promotes the on-going Anglicisation of the nation's government sector with the current debate of the "Languages Bill" and has reduced an estimated 10% of the nation's Afrikaner community to the poverty line through the introduction of a race based Affirmative Action policy - a situation President Zuma described as both "shocking and surprising", yet has done nothing to address".

"Australia was quick to take the moral high-ground against South Africa decades ago, now is not the time to expose our hypocrisy by refusing to re-introduce sanctions and apply meaningful diplomatic pressure upon the ANC regime,"

South Africa’s Constitution is recognized throughout the world as one of the best constitutions in the world. Everybody involved was pleased and proud to have been a part of it. Two of the leaders were even awarded Nobel Peace Prizes.

But now it seems that some of our ANC leaders are uncomfortable with the Freedom Charter and the Constitution. They claim to live by the rule of law, but when the law isn’t on their side, they’re happy to bend, ignore, or even break it.

The ANC still shouts that they want to reduce crime and corruption. That they want to improve the education and health systems. That they want to reduce unemployment and to provide homes for the homeless. So why can’t they do it!

Or is it all just about who gets to ride in fancy official cars and fly free in first-class on SAA? Is it about who gets to live in large official residences and attend lavish dinners?

None of these things are mentioned in the Freedom Charter or the Constitution.”

4.3  Current Political Climate 

Ø  Thousands of foreign visitors, who visited South Africa a decade ago, today avoid this country.
Ø  Several foreign investors, who a decade ago was still excited to invest in South Africa, took their investments elsewhere.
Ø  Today peaceful marches and protests result in violence and mayhem in the space of minutes.
Ø  Forgotten are the noble ideals of upliftment of the less privileged. In its place there is now a culture of "Be as rich as possible as soon as possible."
Ø  The culture of self-enrichment is at the disposal only of a few privileged loyalists in the ANC.
Ø  Differencing with this group and the right to self-enrichment is quickly taken away.
Ø  A culture that embraced a variety of ills has established itself, most of which are aimed at the erosion of a constitutional democracy and the maintenance of unscrupulous and incompetent politicians in their panelled offices and luxury limousines.

The greatest evil in the current culture is surely the government's controversial tender system. It provides the opportunity for every friend and family member of the ruling elite to obtain lucrative contracts, the vast majority of which never gets carried out.

For those who do not have sufficient nepotistic connections to the ruling elite, there is always the possibility of a lucrative position somewhere in the ANC's cadre deployment. If you're in that position and you make yourself guilty of theft and corruption, it is also not so bad. At the very extreme, you can be suspended on full pay, which means that for the next ten years you can sit at home and do nothing. By the time the inept legal process eventually commences, there is already so much time wasted that any trial will in any case constitute an unfair and unlawful judicial act that there is no chance that you will be charged and convicted in any way.

BEE, affirmative action, nationalization and land reform, and are  still of the greatest evils of the ANC culture.

South Africa is littered with failed agricultural development projects while millions of Rands of development funds ends up in the pockets of corrupt ANC supporters.

Highly productive agricultural land lies uncultivated and unproductive throughout South Africa. The ruins and rusty implements and equipment of once thriving farming units serve as mere tombstones of once vibrant and thriving farming communities.

Criminal self-enrichment is the order of the day.  The inability of the government to take decisive action against corrupt individuals have caused these raids to escalate to a point where corruption is now commonplace. Corruption, in all facets and levels of Government, enjoys the best profit to risk ratio, as less than 5% of all corruption charges are successfully prosecuted in the courts today.  
South Africa's problems are much bigger than most South Africans would like to believe and as long as the group of privileged political elite remains in power, it is unlikely that any significant improvement in the prevailing conditions will occur.

5  Conclusion

It is time that all South Africans again unite around the noble ideals of the Freedom Charter and the only recipe for peace, prosperity and progress in this country, is the formation of a coalition government that will honour the aspirations of the Freedom Charter and the adherence to the provisions of the Constitution. 

The vast majority of citizens of this country have yet to learn that political survival and economic prosperity cannot be created by plundering accumulated reserves. Economic prosperity can only be achieved by innovative thinking, sound economic principles, hard work and strict personal earnings. It cannot be "demanded".

The multicoloured rainbow nation of Emeritus Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu is rapidly being replaced with the mirages of a scorched and desolate desert landscape.

Forced integration at all levels of society is destroying our unique cultural diversity and identities and creating a faceless society who do not know who or what they really are.
Indiscriminate granting of exploration and mining concessions are working to destroy our natural heritage.

Corruption and crime are destroying any hope of this country's potential to position itself as the tourism mecca of the world.

Personal gain and an uncompromising devotion to economic and political power, is destroying South Africa's economic potential and political stability.

Corruption and fraud, at all levels of our society, is destroying South Africa's integrity and credibility as a reliable international trading partner.

The indiscriminate allocation of social grants and donations to win political votes, is destroying our people's work ethics and productivity.

South Africa is the most advanced economy on the African continent, and has already established itself as the gateway to the rest of Africa for investors who want to invest in Africa.

If South Africa wants to retain this position, the South African government will very quickly have to review and clearly spells out its policies regarding nationalization and economic development, or run the risk to join countries like Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Kenya and many others as the "failed economies" of the current world order.

Never in the history of South Africa were the conditions for unity so favourable than now.
South Africa can once again astound the world by proving that the real power of democracy can only be practised in a system of Coalition Government.

Only in a system of Coalition Government, can ‘Unity in Diversity’ be possible in South Africa.