ELECTIONS 2024: We told you so! Ramaphosa, Naspers and the rise of the ANC-DA Coalition

As foreshadowed by Independent Media in 2019, the ANC now faces forming a coalition with the Democratic Alliance (DA), which gained just over 21% of the vote. Graphic/IOL

As foreshadowed by Independent Media in 2019, the ANC now faces forming a coalition with the Democratic Alliance (DA), which gained just over 21% of the vote. Graphic/IOL

Published Jun 1, 2024


The dust has settled on South Africa’s most pivotal election in recent history, and the results are in: the African National Congress (ANC) has secured approximately 40% of the vote, marking the worst performance in its post-apartheid history.

Despite a sometimes soft ride from media outlets like News24, eNCA, and the Daily Maverick, President Cyril Ramaphosa could not avert the party’s decline.

The ANC now faces the prospect of forming a grand coalition with the Democratic Alliance (DA), which garnered just over 21% of the vote.

In 2019, Independent Media titles and IOL reported on information from ANC NEC members of Cyril Ramaphosa’s plan to ‘kill the ANC ‘ and move it toward a coalition with the Democratic Alliance.

Initially when it was reported - the article was rubbished by ‘Ramaphosa friendly’media outlets.

How true it has proven to be.

It could be argued that Naspers-owned News24, known for its critical stance on the ANC, paradoxically failed to stem the tide of disapproval.

Instead, the electorate decisively rejected the ANC, with its share of the vote plummeting to new lows.

Adding another layer to this political drama is the controversial financial involvement of Naspers, a corporate monster with extensive media and economic interests in South Africa.

Earlier this year, Naspers made a R2 million donation to both the ANC and the DA. At the time, this move was perplexing given the critical tone of Naspers’ media outlets toward the ANC.

However, the post-election scenario possibly suggests a strategic intent behind the donation, as Naspers appears to have anticipated and perhaps even facilitated the emergence of a coalition government.

IOL columnist Roscoe Palm’s pre-election opinion piece speculated on the potential motivations behind Naspers’ dual donations, suggesting a calculated effort to foster a coalition between the ANC and the DA.

This coalition would ideally align with Naspers’ business interests, promising policy shifts that could benefit large corporations and capital.

Palm’s predictions seem to have materialised, with coalition talks expected to get underway soon.

Despite the extensive coverage by certain media houses and attempts to whitewash Ramaphosa’s presidency , his credibility among voters has eroded, unable to withstand the tide of discontent over issues like Phala Phala, economic stagnation, service delivery failures and allegations of being a remote controlled president.

The prospective ANC-DA coalition, if realised, could bring fundamental changes to South Africa’s policy direction.

Analysts foresee debates over labour legislation, privatisation of state-owned enterprises, and fiscal austerity. Such a coalition might also realign South Africa’s international relations.

Naspers’ strategic donations have drawn attention to potential conflicts of interest, raising ethical questions about media influence and corporate power in politics.

As Palm highlighted, the donation could be seen as a “pay to play” manoeuvre, securing Naspers a favourable position in the anticipated coalition government.

As South Africa stands on the brink of a new political era, the implications of this grand coalition will unfold in the coming months.

But who will it benefit?

Could it be argued that capital needs a DA / ANC coalition and the majority of South Africans need an ANC , EFF and MK coalition?

Whether these potential coalitions will stabilise the political landscape or lead to further turmoil remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: the 2024 elections have reshaped South Africa’s political and economic trajectory in ways that will be felt for years to come.

For the architects of this grand plan however, the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place.