n Journal of African Elections - Causes and impact of party alliances and coalitions on the party system and national cohesion in South Africa

Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-4700



South Africa's first decade of democracy, 1994-2004, delivered a high volume of governing and opposition alliances and coalitions in South Africa. These alliances and coalitions catalysed the party system and facilitated the consolidation of ANC power. Simultaneously, alliances in this decade triggered the main opposition party, the DA, which continued to dominate opposition politics numerically through Election 2014. The second decade of democracy, 2004-2014, was characterised by continued ANC dominance, yet, instead of the ANC unremittingly usurping parties, it became subject to splits. Some of the split-offs emerged to become opposition parties. Others fused into alliances with either the ANC or existing opposition parties. This article takes stock of the development during these two decades and looks ahead to budding new alliances that may thrive in conditions of lessened ANC dominance.

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