DA leader John Steenhuisen. Picture: BRENTON GEACH/GALLO IMAGES
DA leader John Steenhuisen. Picture: BRENTON GEACH/GALLO IMAGES

The difficulty forming coalitions after the municipal elections shows that local politics is still run by party bosses (“Deadlock raises odds of unstable metros after coalition talks fall apart”, November 16).

How hard is it for a party like the DA to concede that its “official opposition” and “party that governs” status (outside the Western Cape) is fragile and contingent on other parties? (Despite all the postelection spin by the DA, the reality is it is weaker with Helen Zille and John Steenhuisen in charge this time around.)

The DA keeps insisting that its numbers are big enough that it does not have to give away anything significant in terms of bargaining, and it would rather go back into opposition than give, say, ActionSA and FF+ an “outsize” role. It wants everyone to swear fealty to their opposition constitution (itself a power play and insurance policy to keep them in charge).

Much has been made of metaphors such as a “pack of wild dogs” bringing down the ANC, but many questions should be asked about the pack. Among these is whether the current alpha is really fit and strong enough to lead and really interested in sharing some of the spoils, even symbolic power, for the greater good of the pack.

There is more than one party that has become complacent and entitled.

Helgard Muller
Via BusinessLIVE

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