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South Africa's Unity Government Expands to Five Parties

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Ayize claire

Jun 18, 2024

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa during a break in the session of Parliament in Cape Town

The African National Congress (ANC) announced that South Africa's new unity government now includes five parties, representing over two-thirds of the National Assembly's 400 seats. Following last month's election, the ANC, for the first time since the end of apartheid in 1994, failed to secure a parliamentary majority and had to form alliances.

Key Points:

  • Cyril Ramaphosa Re-elected: ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa was re-elected as President by parliament, with the support of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), and the Patriotic Alliance (PA).

  • New Addition: GOOD party has joined the unity government, bringing the total representation to 273 seats (68% of the National Assembly).

  • Parliament Seat Distribution:

    • ANC: 159 seats

    • DA: 87 seats

    • IFP: 17 seats

    • PA: 9 seats

    • GOOD: 1 seat

Unity Government Priorities:

The government aims to focus on rapid, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, capital investment, job creation, land reform, and infrastructure development. Decisions will be made by consensus among the participating parties.

Opposition and Exclusions:

  • The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with 39 seats and the uMkhonto we Sizwe party, led by former President Jacob Zuma with 58 seats, are not part of the unity government. They have formed the "Progressive Caucus" along with other smaller opposition parties.

  • The EFF opposes joining any government that includes the DA or the Freedom Front Plus.

Economic Outlook:

HSBC economist David Faulkner suggests the unity government might pave the way for growth-friendly reforms and prudent economic policies but warns of potential ideological conflicts within the coalition.

South Africa's political landscape is witnessing a significant shift with the formation of a broad coalition government, aiming to address key economic and social issues while navigating internal and external challenges.

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