‘Proposed Parliament threshold will remove smaller parties’

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The African Transformation Movement (ATM) and other small parties say a threshold will potentially erode the fundamental value of the multi-party system of democracy which was designed to ensure accountability.

This as bigger political parties say there should be a threshold for parties to be represented in Parliament.

This would remove smaller parties from Parliament and councils, leading to more stable coalitions.

ATM Spokesperson Zama Ntshona says they have dismissed the National Dialogue on Coalition Governments as a bid “to save the ANC” in the 2024 elections.

“The ANC when it comes to flouting processes, violation of the constitution and corruption, you can’t as you want to have a balancing factor to stability then lower the bar to appoint where now you’ll have close to no accountability. And as ATM, we see that this will save a corrupt government by introducing such.”

DA in support 

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, John Steenhuisen says they support the idea of regulating a threshold for parties to participate in coalitions.

“We think it’s a good idea because it will bring stability and reduce the fragmentation that has resulted in situations that become very difficult to form a stable lasting coalition. It is a proportional representation system that we have in SA; 99% of proportional representation systems around the world, including on the continent, have a minimum threshold ranging from between one and seven percent, precisely because they have been through this situation. It would reduce the number of parties in legislatures to parties that have got a significant voter mandate.

Meanwhile, Steenhuisen has dismissed claims suggesting his party might form a coalition with the African National Congress (ANC).

“No, its absolute nonsense and it is a figment of a few individuals’ imagination. I made it clear since our party conference in April that that we are going to pursue building a majority with opposition parties to unseat the ANC and not to govern with the ANC. We will plan how we build that majority going forward.”