Amy Fraser7 June 2024 | 6:12

Weighing pros and cons of government of national unity 2.0

The ANC has indicated its intention to pursue a government of national unity. Kira Alberts (Centre for Research on Democracy, SU) weighs the advantages and disadvantages.

Weighing pros and cons of government of national unity 2.0

A view of Parliament. Picture: GCIS

Africa Melane interviews Kira Alberts, Research Associate with the Centre for Research on Democracy at Stellenbosch University.

Listen below.

The clock is ticking as leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) scramble to find common ground with potential partners to shape a new South African government, following the party's unprecedented loss of its parliamentary majority.

While still the largest party, the ANC can no longer govern in isolation. It has indicated its intention to pursue a Government of National Unity (GNU), encompassing a diverse spectrum of political parties.

This concept isn't novel; South Africa has previously embraced such a model between 1994 and 1997.

"It helped South Africa at a very important crossroad in our political history."
- Kira Alberts, Centre for Research on Democracy – Stellenbosch University

The approach aims to accommodate various stakeholders and offers a pragmatic path forward.

However, Alberts highlights concerns regarding the efficacy of governance within such a coalition, particularly in addressing pressing issues like economic growth and unemployment.

She argues that managing a coalition of this magnitude will entail extensive negotiation, persuasion, and compromise, potentially resulting in suboptimal decision-making processes that could undermine governmental effectiveness.

Scroll up to the audio player to listen to the interview.