South Africa

Dawie Roodt’s warning about coalition governments 

Renowned economist Dawie Roodt said it is likely that nearly any coalition government in South Africa will not be stable.

Roodt told Daily Investor that an ANC-small party coalition is likely the best, most realistic outcome of the upcoming elections on 29 May.

He said that, ideally, the ANC would lose its majority but get over 45% of the votes, forcing it to partner up with a smaller opposition party.

The worst-case scenario is the ANC getting less than 40% of the vote, forcing it to team up with a bigger opposition party, with the EFF or MKP being the most likely candidates.

While an ANC/DA coalition is not impossible and could be considered a good outcome, Roodt said this partnership would be “the beginning of the end” for the DA, as it would lose political face.

In addition, the bad blood between the parties will likely prevent them from working well together.

However, Roodt said this may be the case with many coalitions in South Africa, as very few of them are likely to result in a stable partnership.

Governance expert Dr Harlan Cloete recently told Newzroom Afrika that coalition governments could cause chaos following the national election at the end of May, and this will only be exacerbated by the 2026 municipal elections. 

While it is largely expected that the ANC will lose its majority following the election, it is unknown how far support for the ruling party will fall below the critical 50% level.

This means that a coalition partnership will have to be struck for the first time since 1994 in order for a ruling government to be formed.

Cloete said this would be very challenging as it would effectively be the start of a new era in South African politics.

Furthermore, municipalities and provinces will also be shaken up by new coalitions being formed to run local governments.

Cloete said that he expects municipalities, in particular, to be predominantly run by coalitions after the 2026 municipal election.

This is where coalition governments will become very challenging. Differing coalitions at the national, provincial, and municipal levels are likely, resulting in unaligned spheres of government. 

In the Western Cape, this is already a problem, with the Democratic Alliance government at the provincial level constantly at odds with ANC-run municipalities or coalitions at the local government level. 

This will only be magnified after 2026, when it will be difficult to create greater alignment between political parties. 

The uncertainty surrounding what the post-election coalition government will look like and how effectively it will be able to govern will negatively impact the South African economy. 


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