Coalition Dilemma: President Ramaphosa’s ANC in tight corner after polling 40,2 percent in elections

President Cyril Ramaphosa turns to God

South Africa’s most powerful labour union federation, which is allied with the African National Congress, said any coalition deal struck by the party after losing its majority in the country’s elections last week must ensure President Cyril Ramaphosa retain his post and its manifesto pledges are upheld.

The ANC has been thrown into a quandary after winning just 40,2 percent of votes cast on May 29, ceding its majority for the first time in 30 years.

That performance leaves it facing a choice between an arrangement with its bitter rival, the centrist Democratic Alliance, or working with populist parties whose policies and public statements have alarmed investors.

“What’s key is that a coalition be led by the ANC and President Ramaphosa, be progressive and biased toward the needs of working-class communities,” the Congress of South African Trade Unions, which has supported the ANC in every election since it took power in 1994, said in comments sent to Bloomberg on Monday.

The new government should “defend the rights of workers, grow the economy and create jobs, tackle crime and corruption, invest in public services and unite the nation,” it said, without specifying which other parties it wanted included.

Cosatu, whose affiliate unions represent 1,8 million workers including those of a labour group founded by Ramaphosa in the 1980s, said it will consult on the way forward with the ANC and the South African Communist Party, a small but historically important political formation that’s been part of the nation’s ruling alliance since apartheid ended in 1994.

Among the priorities included in the ANC’s manifesto are job creation, battling crime and improving infrastructure — all of which could be agreed to by the DA, which with 21,8 percent of the vote is the second-biggest party. Bloomberg.

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