EDITORIAL: It’s all about power in political coalitions
The upheavals in municipalities show the fragility of political coalitions
The upheavals in municipalities show the fragility of political coalitions. The DA still holds Tshwane, for now, but it has lost Nelson Mandela Bay (subject to a court ruling).
Even more fragile and unstable are those coalitions anchored on just one interest. The DA’s working relationship with other parties was a marriage of convenience. Its primary purpose was to get rid of Jacob Zuma. Beyond that there was, and still is, no common purpose.
Yet the goal of removing Zuma was so powerful that an improbable coalition between the polar opposites that are the DA and EFF held for two years. The DA has always campaigned on a ticket of clean governance, if not conservatism. The EFF has always presented itself as a disrupter — of white privilege and the economic status quo. It has never pretended to care about service delivery or clean governance — until the corruption of state capture became so brazen. The UDM presents itself as a mature agitator for clean governance and process.
Very little other than Zuma united the parties. The glue has now gone. The power struggles between the DA, UDM and EFF have nothing to do with service provision, nor do they have anything to do with the voters. They are only about access to resources ahead of the election next year. And the voters have been reduced to mere spectators.