MISTRA Coalitions Barometer 2021–2023: Lessons for the National and Provincial Sphere

22 May 2024

Lindiwe Mabuza Space, Fredrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Africa, Johannesburg

10:15 am - 11:30 am

The Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA), in collaboration with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), invites you to a virtual roundtable on the MISTRA Coalitions Barometer 2021–2023: Lessons from the Research for National or Provincial Coalitions

This roundtable will focus on the lessons that emerged from the MISTRA Coalitions Barometer 2021–2023 for potential coalitions at national and provincial levels. Professor Susan Booysen, the author of the Barometer and MISTRA’s Director of Research, will present the research on these lessons.

The research undertaken for the MISTRA Coalitions Barometer 2021–2023 explores emerging trends in coalition politics in South Africa at a crucial time – when elections are due, political parties are in a state of flux and new coalition practices and cultures are being consolidated. The research firstly identifies the unfolding dynamics and cultures of both coalition politics and governance in South Africa. Secondly, it identifies lessons from these trends. Political parties’ experiences of coalitions, and the fluidity of the relevant configurations, already inform how they have positioned themselves in anticipation of the upcoming election.

At the current juncture, coalition politics are driven by efforts to gain or retain power. The quests for outright majorities by relatively big parties, and efforts to establish ‘kingmaker status’ by smaller ones, reflect their experiences of the current milieu. MISTRA’s Coalitions Barometer helps us to navigate the often opaque intricacies of current coalitions politics. The lessons drawn from the Barometer’s systematic monitoring of trends at metropolitan and local levels are useful pointers to ways forward.