‘This is not an anti-ruling party club’: Moonshot pact partners meet in Kempton Park

'This is not an anti-ruling party club': Moonshot pact partners meet in Kempton Park
'This is not an anti-ruling party club': Moonshot pact partners meet in Kempton Park

Africa-Press – South-Africa. Leaders of seven political parties that have gathered at a two-day national convention in Kempton Park say they have not done so because they hate the ANC.

Their common goal, they say, is to unseat the ANC and provide an alternative government.

DA leader John Steenhuisen, IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba, and Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald began their first talks towards a coalition pact that could try to form a government after the 2024 elections.

Three small parties – the Spectrum National Party, Isanco and the United Independent Movement – are also attending the convention.

Their plan is to discuss a roadmap and sign a memorandum of understanding that will become the foundation of a possible coalition agreement in 2024.

The parties’ leaders gave opening speeches ahead of talks with IFP leader Hlabisa, saying that the meeting should not be seen as a meeting of ANC enemies.

He said the defining moment was to find an alternative government for the citizens, who had lost hope. Hlabisa said he was among millions of people who cast their votes in 1994 with the hope of change. But years later, the ANC had failed to live up to their promise of a better future.

“This is not an anti-ruling party club. Our reason for convening here is much more critical. We do not hate the ANC. We hate what they have done to South Africa. As the IFP, we are here to determine how best we could serve South Africa together, how to bring about much-needed change, and how to make sure that the issues that are important to our constituencies are on the negotiating table. These include crime, unemployment, poverty, inequality, load shedding, and the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor. The good news is that we already agree upon much,” Hlabisa said.

Groenewald said the country had faced many crossroads. One of those was in 1994.

He said the next big step would be in 2024 when the ANC has a good chance of losing its majority.

He appealed to the voters of the country – the only line of defence the opposition could use to increase their political footprint.

The moonshot pact will rely heavily on whether more people vote next year or change allegiance to the opposition.

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba spoke directly about the country’s social ills, including unemployment and high crime.

The former Johannesburg mayor also appealed to the leaders he was about to negotiate with, warning them that more parties would have to join the pact for it to succeed.

ActionSA has long appealed that political parties, including the Patriotic Alliance, should be invited to talks. But meetings over the last few months have not changed the DA’s position about the PA.

Mashaba said:

Steenhuisen said the talks should see parties emerge with a picture of a proposed alternative government for the country that could help solve crime, unemployment and load shedding.

He said the meeting should not be dominated by squabbles but by genuineness and eagerness for an alternative.

“The DA is irrevocably committed to this project. It is something I publicly committed my party to following our Federal Congress. When this process is complete tomorrow evening, judge the politicians sitting here on whether the outcome promises tangible improvements to your life.

“Ask whether we collectively provide solutions to issues like unemployment, load shedding and crime. If the answer is yes – if these parties emerge with an agreement not only to defeat the ANC but to rescue South Africa – then I ask that you judge it as a success,” Steenhuisen said.

Chairperson of the convention, Professor William Gumede, said the meeting was historic because very few instances existed where a coalition was negotiated before an election.

He praised the political party leaders for their “maturity” in building a “better South Africa”.

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