Political analyst Justice Malala says the African National Congress (ANC) is making a huge mistake by trying to play the coalition-building game.
The ANC suffered a bruising defeat in the municipal elections on 1 November after voters punished the party, causing its biggest upset yet.
The party won 46 percent of the ballots cast nationally, down from 54 percent in the last municipal elections five years ago.
The ANC had to open the door to setting up coalition governments in municipalities in which it had failed to secure a majority.
Malala says looking ahead to general elections in 2024, the only way for the ANC to save itself is by following the hard road of deep reflection, deep-seated change and genuine renewal.
“The next two years are its last chance. After that it will face irrelevance.”
In an article featured in The Sunday Times on 7 November, (ANC prepares for coalition talks — and is open to talking to ‘everybody’), Malala writes that the most sober assessment of the ANC’s performance in the local elections from within the party itself was by the usually colourful Fikile Mbalula where during one interview the transport minister said the result, which saw the ANC’s majority declining to less than 50% for the first time since 1994, was “a warning shot”.