Government of national unity co-opts opposition – Free Market Foundation


The Free Market Foundation warns that the ANC’s eagerness to form a government of national unity may lead to opposition parties being co-opted at a time when accountability is most needed.

The foundation therefore warns opposition parties to pres. to turn down Cyril Ramaphosa’s invitation.

“A government of national unity is nothing more than a broad coalition with the ANC as senior partner,” says David Ansara, CEO of the Free Market Foundation.

“A coalition can easily degenerate into a situation where the opposition is relegated to the role of junior partner. This puts them in the government, but not in power,” Ansara believes.

“The junior partner’s space to influence change is therefore, without any significant, radical concessions in advance, small.”

Ansara says a government of national unity will essentially rob South Africa of “this historic opportunity” to realize the constitutional imperatives of “accountability and openness”.

“It is important that a strong opposition is maintained in parliament.”

However, Ansara believes that a government of national unity will undermine the opposition.

“The loss of the ANC’s majority is an important moment in South African democracy, representing a rare chance to challenge the harmful policy paradigm. But it requires a strong opposition that sits outside the executive and holds it accountable.”

Earlier this week, the foundation called on political parties to reject all coalitions and create an alternative that is governed within a relationship of trust.