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Seminar on creating stable political coalitions

The Chief Executive Officer of the Inclusive Society Institute, Daryl Swanepoel, represented the Institute at the seminar on creating stable coalitions that was hosted by the Danish Embassy on 13 February 2023. The event was held at the historic 6 Spin Street in Cape Town.

The event served as a public feedback session on the recent political party study tour to Denmark on coalition governance and relevance for South Africa. This was followed by a spirited panel discussion and dialogue on how to strengthen coalition governance in South Africa and how to make coalitions more stable.

The seminar was opened by HE Danish Ambassador Mr. Tobias Rehfeld moderated by Professor Richard Calland. The panel was comprised of the party representatives that undertook the tour, which included the UDM, Good, FF+, ANC, Action SA, IFP and One South Africa Movement.

Mr Swanepoel, in his contribution, highlighted the Irish approach to coalition formation, which was based on trust and generosity. He said that trust amongst parties was non-existent, and in creating workable coalitions, parties would have to move away from transactional agreements based on relative strength to one that acknowledges coalition partners to be equal. The failure of South African parties to grasp these two concepts will result in unstable coalitions. This ought therefore to be at the forefront of their thinking in the run-up to the next election, which will undoubtedly see a number of coalition governments having to be formed.


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