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Coalition Governance: Unchartered Waters in South African Political Landscape


  • Makole Kaizer Raseane

    (PhD, Lecturer, Tshwane University of Technology, Soshanguve South Campus, South Africa)

  • Ntshangase Bhekabantu Alson

    (PhD, Senior Lecturer, Acting Dean, Mangosuthu University of Technology, South Africa)

  • Adewumi Samson Adeoluwa

    (PhD, Researcher, Mangosuthu University of Technology, South Africa)


Coalition governance in South Africa is adjudged as an opportunity for nation-building and social compact, which intends to jettison the apartheid legacy of racial and social separation. Coalition governance in South Africa quintessentially demonstrates a maturing nation-building project whereby political parties embrace a cohesive spirit for democratic governance and citizenship representation. However, the lack of consensus about a developmental posture to drive nation-building in South Africa put different political parties on antithetical dissimulations that undermine effective coalition governance in both national and local governmental spheres. An era of dominant party hegemony is approaching its final demise, which challenges political parties to build workable and collaborative consensus toward leading South Africa out of its current developmental stagnation. The study examines the challenges and opportunities of coalition governance in South Africa. The objective of the paper is to understand how coalition building can be a leverage for Nation building in the context of South African political structure. A qualitative study is undertaken by analyzing strategic and policy documents of political parties and journal articles to examine challenges and opportunities for coalition governance in South Africa. The thematic content analysis examines emerging patterns from primary and secondary documentary sources to generate relevant themes that influence and guide conceptualization, challenges, and opportunities for coalition governance in South Africa. Findings revealed that a major challenge for coalition governance in South Africa is political brinkmanship by political parties who negotiate in bad faith, demanding more concessions than votes garnered from election results, which demonstrates political immaturity. However, a positive aspect of coalition governance might be for parties to formalize binding coalition agreements that can serve as conflict management mechanisms that can compel parties to demonstrate reciprocal accountability during governance.

Suggested Citation

  • Makole Kaizer Raseane & Ntshangase Bhekabantu Alson & Adewumi Samson Adeoluwa, 2022. "Coalition Governance: Unchartered Waters in South African Political Landscape," Business Ethics and Leadership, Sciendo, vol. 6(4), pages 23-37, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:vrs:belead:v:6:y:2022:i:4:p:23-37:n:11
    DOI: 10.21272/bel.64.23-37.2022

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    More about this item


    coalition agreement; coalition governance; control mechanism; ideological and ethno-cultural tension; political brinkmanship; social cohesion; South Africa;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L38 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Policy
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy


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