Mbeki: coalition needed to provide credible opposition

ALTERNATIVE VIEW: Moeletsi Mbeki speaks at an East London beachfront hotel on Tuesday Picture: MARK ANDREWS
ALTERNATIVE VIEW: Moeletsi Mbeki speaks at an East London beachfront hotel on Tuesday Picture: MARK ANDREWS
If rival parties want to take the ruling party to task, they should work in coalition with the private sector and organised labour.

This was the message from political economist Moeletsi Mbeki to the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) in East London on Tuesday night. He was giving a talk on leadership in parliament.

Mbeki said a major problem facing the country because of single-party dominance was a stagnant economy.

“It is not always a good plan to complain about the government. South Africans need to introduce proper competition for the ANC.”

Mbeki said South Africa was experiencing what he referred to as a “Dual Malaise Facing”.

“If you want to introduce competition you need to create a new configuration. We already know the ANC’s configuration – now we need a coalition between these three major structures,” he said.

Mbeki said some of the results of single-party dominance in a democratic system included:

  • Declining popular participation in the electoral arena;
  • Lack of accountability of the state system;
  • Transfer of resources to the politically powerful rather than the most productive;
  • High levels of corruption, especially within the public sector;
  • Poor quality of delivery of social services for low income groups; and
  • High levels of conflict and dissatisfaction.

Mbeki said South Africa was in dire need of new leadership, which had to stem from a coalition of the business sector, labour unions and major opposition parties.

“This requires intervention by business to help promote political competition. It is not sufficient to have endless argument about this piece or that piece of legislation,” Mbeki said.

Another consequence of lack of political competition was the growth of “far-fetched populist economic notions”, he added.

“This emphasises the need for a new coalition that will be serious about overcoming low economic growth.”

He said the major role players that should consider the coalition were DA; EFF; UDM; South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Agri SA; Chamber of Mines; National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa; Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union; and Cosatu.

According to Mbeki, the DA had not done enough to attract the unemployed as it was the single largest constituency from which the ANC received votes. — siphem@dispatch.co.za


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