FF+’s Mulder: DA to lose its W Cape majority in Election’24 – and that’s a good thing

One of the toughest battles in Election’24 is the Democratic Alliance’s bid to schieve more than 50% of the Western Cape votes – the only province where it currently governs. South Africa’s longest serving member of Paliament, FF+ Chief Whip Dr Corne’ Mulder, believes with his party, the Patriotic Alliance and Action SA poised for good showings on May 29, after the election a coalition will be required to govern the Western Cape. He explains to BizNews editor Alec Hogg why this is a good thing.

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Highlights from the interview

In the interview with Alec Hogg, Dr. Corné Mulder of Freedom Front Plus discusses the upcoming South African elections and the potential shifts in political power. Mulder expresses scepticism about the reliability of polls, noting their tendency to be inaccurate due to reliance on social media and cell phone data rather than thorough, in-person canvassing. He anticipates the ANC will fall below 50% in the upcoming elections, possibly between 40-45%, which would prevent them from forming a government without significant coalitions.

Mulder emphasizes the opportunity for opposition parties to form a multi-party government for the first time in 30 years, highlighting the importance of cooperation among opposition parties to keep the ANC and EFF out of power. He foresees coalition governments in key provinces such as KZN, Gauteng, and the Western Cape, noting that opposition coalitions could break the ANC’s longstanding dominance.

Addressing the Western Cape specifically, Mulder acknowledges the DA’s strong governance but points out that many municipalities are already governed in coalition with Freedom Front Plus. He advocates for coalition governance, arguing it fosters better decision-making through compromise and collective leadership. Mulder concludes by highlighting the potential for continued progress and improved governance through coalition efforts in the upcoming elections.

Extended transcript of the interview ___STEADY_PAYWALL___

00:00:08:18 – 00:00:38:01

Alec Hogg: Well, the BizNews columnist, Dirk Hartford, had some very good things to say about Dr. Corné Mulder in his latest column, which is on the site today. Primarily, he is a man with great acumen and understands what’s happening in politics. Not surprisingly, given that he is the longest-serving member of parliament in South Africa and is going into this big watershed election with high hopes. No doubt we’re going to find out from him all that.

00:00:38:01 – 00:01:06:12

Alec Hogg: And his Freedom Front expectations. You are getting a really good reputation as being a wise fellow, which is lovely, I guess, given that politics is not known for people with great levels of acumen. But it’s something I think very well deserved and well earned. But you still are working in a party that’s unlikely on its own.

00:01:06:12 – 00:01:22:05

Alec Hogg: It will not be the majority party on its own. Pretty certain about that. So what kind of campaign strategy has the Freedom Front Plus been following as we come up to this very big vote on Wednesday?

00:01:22:07 – 00:01:40:09

Corné Mulder: Yes, Alec. No, thank you very much for the opportunity. And also thank you for the nice compliment. I always believe that in all parties you will find some politicians that really stand out and that really do make a contribution, because I think it’s necessary that that be the case. In general, politicians don’t have a very good image at all.

00:01:40:10 – 00:02:02:00

Corné Mulder: Not in South Africa, definitely not. So the more people that can come to the fore and set an example, the better. With regard to the election campaign, I think we were very successful in the sense you remember that not very long ago, in a previous election, there was a very strong message going out from certain parties trying to beat the ANC by saying we are the only party.

00:02:02:02 – 00:02:21:02

Corné Mulder: We are the biggest party, only us have the chance to defeat the ANC, etc. We found it very disturbing. Part of that was also don’t waste your vote on some other parties. We had to fight that kind of narrative. And I think we’ve now moved beyond that, where the electorate realizes that in a proportional system, all votes count.

00:02:21:02 – 00:02:38:09

Corné Mulder: First of all, you can’t waste your vote. In this election, we will have three ballots. So you will have three opportunities to vote. And all three of those ballots will count. Secondly, the more important thing, as far as I’m concerned, is that the electorate also now seems to understand and realize that coalitions are here to stay.

00:02:38:09 – 00:02:56:14

Corné Mulder: In other words, no single party is going to govern, most likely in many places. That brings us to coalition government. It doesn’t depend on how big your party is. It’s a question of if you can be part of a governing majority, what you can bring to the table into that kind of government. I think that is exciting.

00:02:56:16 – 00:03:12:11

Corné Mulder: I’ve not heard any ads or anyone saying in this election, don’t waste your vote or you can waste your vote or only us. Luckily, we’ve moved beyond that situation. That is very positive because I think that’s part of the maturing of our democracy.

00:03:12:13 – 00:03:33:05

Alec Hogg: Internally at the Freedom Front Plus, do you regard 2019 as a successful campaign, or is it something that you’re expecting this lot will be just a stepping stone to something even better in 2024? I’d love to get your feeling on that.

00:03:33:07 – 00:03:55:12

Corné Mulder: Well, in 2019, we did have a good campaign back at that stage because it was a very important election. We’ve been having a difficult time. If you look back in the history of the party, one must understand that in the ’99 election, the party was almost wiped out at the polls. We lost 75% of our support in 1999, and it wasn’t long slog to get back four elections.

00:03:55:12 – 00:04:21:20

Corné Mulder: Five terms to get us back to the levels of prior to 1999. But we kept on doing what we did best, and we could convince the electorate to a certain extent. So 2019 was a very important election, but we knew that it was a stepping stone. The interesting thing is, in the South African context, because our elections are staggered between provincial, national, and then in a different cycle local, we are almost always in an election mode in South Africa.

00:04:22:01 – 00:04:44:17

Corné Mulder: Once we’ve gone past this election, we will immediately start with the next, because in 2026 it will be local government elections throughout South Africa, depending on what happens in this election once again. So we are continuously in election cycles. But to us, this election is a very important one and I perceive it to be a foundation that we are laying for 2026 and beyond.

00:04:44:18 – 00:05:09:00

Alec Hogg: I’ve been doing quite a bit of work crunching the numbers from 2019 and 2021, and it was interesting to see that 5 million voters from 2019 did not turn up for the local elections. Extraordinary that you had more than 17 million voters in 2019. And that was a decline in the poll from previous years.

00:05:09:02 – 00:05:30:11

Alec Hogg: But then in the local elections, only 12 million voters. Now are you expecting or maybe you can actually unpack that for us, because if one tries to extrapolate what’s happened on the local level into a national level, you might slip up. They just have to be two completely different. Absolutely.

00:05:30:12 – 00:05:56:03

Corné Mulder: I think there are basically two reasons why that happened. The first one must understand is that with local government elections, the polling percentage is always much lower. There’s less interest in local government. I don’t know why it should be more because that’s the closest form of government to the people themselves. But we normally find that when we come to national and provincial elections, the percentage poll will increase, and more people will go out and vote.

00:05:56:03 – 00:06:25:07

Corné Mulder: So that’s the first reason why 2021 had a lower poll. But the second one was because of a huge disillusionment with political parties, with politicians in general, but specifically with the ruling party as well. The interesting thing is, as we go into this election, yes, we expect a higher poll. But I hope that we will have, with all due respect, fewer people supporting the ANC going to the polls, that the disillusioned ones would stay away from the polls or would vote for alternative parties in the opposition.

00:06:25:09 – 00:06:40:18

Corné Mulder: That is where MK now comes in. I think that plays a very important role. I’m not convinced that MK is this real big opposition alternative. It could be part of a mopping-up effort to unite the ANC once again.

00:06:40:19 – 00:07:05:21

Alec Hogg
In talking about MK and all the controversy around Jacob Zuma and so on, from your perspective, how do you think they’re going to get the vote out? And I say this because the more I look at political parties as businesses, as you’ve almost got to get, Mmusi Maimane put it beautifully in an interview earlier this week, he said the ground war is what matters.

Read more: Hartford: Nigredo ushers in SA’s most contentious election ever

00:07:05:21 – 00:07:24:15

Alec Hogg
The logistics, the knocking on doors, the engaging with people, getting them to the polls rather than the air war, the media darlings and perhaps what you might be seeing in the mass media. How are they going to turn, how’s MK going to turn that into votes?

00:07:24:17 – 00:07:45:07

Corné Mulder
Once again, it’s a combination because of our diversity. I think our voters also react differently. Some constituencies are programmed since birth that it’s your duty. You go out and vote when it’s election day, and it’s not so much an effort to get those people to go out and vote. There must be some problems before they will not go out and vote.

00:07:45:09 – 00:08:10:03

Corné Mulder
In other constituencies, it’s more difficult. You need to turn people out on polling day, and it’s a huge logistical nightmare. To a large extent, someone will tell you that the ANC has almost hired all the taxis out there to try and move 12 million people on polling day. But when you come to MK, it’s going to be a problem because MK is a strange phenomenon. It’s a political party, but I don’t think there’s much of a structure.

00:08:10:03 – 00:08:37:09

Corné Mulder
There are no real grassroots support in terms of branches, membership, etc. It’s almost a personality cult. And a strange thing in this election is I thought about that yesterday when I was driving, and I saw some posters. Two parties, for example, let’s take the IFP. The IFP is using a photograph of the deceased Mr. Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who’s not on the ballot box.

00:08:37:09 – 00:09:02:04

Corné Mulder
He’s not on the list. He’s not a candidate. But his picture is being used for strategic reasons with the slogan that says “Trust Us.” Oh, that’s a bit strange. And then the same with MK, using Zuma’s face. But he’s not going to be elected to Parliament. So it’s almost as if we are moving from one phase in our politics into a new phase where some of the older guys are still around, but we are moving into a new era.

00:09:02:06 – 00:09:12:13

Corné Mulder
And with regard to MK, I’m not convinced that they have this ground game that they can bring to the table necessarily. And I may be wrong, but I think the polls are overestimating them.

00:09:12:15 – 00:09:31:12

Alec Hogg
The mopping-up exercise, as you put it, would suggest that between MK and the ANC, even though the ANC would be down in the early 40s, they will have enough to form a majority government. Is that the way you’re seeing it, or is that their strategy?

00:09:31:17 – 00:09:58:00

Corné Mulder
Yes, absolutely. When I talk about a mopping-up, I honestly believe that even though Mr. Zuma is now the leader of MK, he is a die-hard ANC person and will die an ANC stalwart. He can’t be anything else. And I think part of his strategy was to move into bringing into the fold disillusioned ANC people who left the party after, from his perspective, some new leadership took over when Ramaphosa became president, etc.

00:09:58:01 – 00:10:16:21

Corné Mulder
And I think that part of his idea and his strategy is to bring all those people back into the fold, get them to vote for MK, and then MK can bring them back into a coalition with the ANC. But I understand there are very strict preconditions, and one of those preconditions is that Ramaphosa cannot be the president after the election.

00:10:16:23 – 00:10:37:21

Corné Mulder
But we will see how that plays out. There could be a compromise to make Ramaphosa the president, and then at the end of the year, he may retire and go out in the night, and somebody else may be elected in his stead. And then, obviously, I think part of that deal is also that the prosecution of Zuma should go away, as he has wanted it to happen for many, many years already.

00:10:38:01 – 00:11:07:12

Alec Hogg
Deals and deals. What about the MPC? What happens if, clearly, you guys have been working hard. You’ve been having meetings. You must have some understanding or some belief in what each of the parties would bring to the multi-party coalition. What if parties in the MPC don’t bring what was expected? Let’s say they have you down for 4% on Freedom Front Plus, and you come with 2%.

00:11:07:14 – 00:11:09:19

Alec Hogg
Is there any consequence of that?

00:11:09:21 – 00:11:25:23

Corné Mulder
No, there’s no direct consequence. The only direct consequence would be that we as an entity, as a multi-party charter, who is not a coalition, it’s a pre-election agreement that the parties that signed that do not succeed in being able to create a majority and to put a government together, and I think we should be honest with the electorate.

00:11:26:01 – 00:11:45:10

Corné Mulder
Indications clearly show that we on our own will not reach 51%. We know that, just as the ANC will not reach 51%. So coalitions are on the table, very much so. So the question would be after the election, let’s, for argument’s sake, say the multi-party charter gets around 35% or whatever the case may be, we don’t know.

00:11:45:12 – 00:12:04:01

Corné Mulder
To get to 50%, we’ll need a further 15%. And then it goes to actual numbers where we will need the support of other political parties who are currently not within the multi-party charter but who do get members elected to become part of a grouping to form a coalition government and to see if it’s possible, and it’s going to be fascinating.

00:12:04:01 – 00:12:13:14

Corné Mulder
The polls will close on Wednesday night, the counting will start, and rather sooner than later, we will start to see how this works out and what kind of permutations could be possible.

00:12:13:16 – 00:12:22:00

Alec Hogg
And what happens then? What happens after you know where you are? How long do you have to put together a coalition?

00:12:22:02 – 00:12:43:04

Corné Mulder
It seems that the polls will close on Wednesday, the 29th. Normally, the IEC takes until Saturday to finalize the results, but it seems that because of all the different permutations and challenges and the third ballot, they want to give themselves until Monday, I think Monday is the 2nd or the 3rd of June, to finalize the result.

00:12:43:04 – 00:13:00:14

Corné Mulder
Now, you remember how that works. We all get to Nasrec or Gallagher this time, and you’ll see all the numbers, all the different political parties and the number of votes, and then at some stage, a button is pressed and those number of votes are all changed in terms of the formula into seats.

00:13:00:16 – 00:13:29:01

Corné Mulder
But before then, we would have made the necessary calculations to know exactly what’s going to play out. Then it seems, from Parliament’s side, because that’s the next thing, the judiciary is then given the information from the IEC to indicate that if you then have a situation where one person may be elected on one or more of the lists, which could happen, somebody could be on a provincial list and get elected there, but also on the national list, that individual must then indicate which position they will be taking up.

00:13:29:01 – 00:13:54:15

Corné Mulder
And the moment you do that, then somebody else moves up. It seems at this stage that we have a public holiday on Sunday, the 16th of June, and because it’s a Sunday, the Monday, the 17th will be a public holiday. Parliament will meet on Monday, the 17th, in Cape Town at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, which will be set up as a parliamentary precinct, and Parliament will meet on Monday, the 17th.

00:13:54:15 – 00:14:17:01

Corné Mulder
The Chief Justice should be there. Then all 400 members will be sworn in during the course of the morning. Then we will come together that same morning to elect a speaker and then most likely in the afternoon at 2:00, we will have to elect the president of the country. And then on Saturday, the 22nd, will be the inauguration of the new president at Loftus in Pretoria.

00:14:17:03 – 00:14:31:15

Alec Hogg
That’s so interesting because if you don’t have deals, you get a majority party. It will be very interesting to see who gets elected president because presumably there could be a number of votes for that.

00:14:31:17 – 00:14:49:19

Corné Mulder
Absolutely. The voting of the election—we’ll first see how it plays out with the speaker because the election of the speaker is a precursor for the election of the president just immediately after that. Now, if there are deals, then you’ll see those deals already being implemented when we elect the speaker, because there may be some agreement or arrangement.

00:14:49:19 – 00:15:09:04

Corné Mulder
And then the speaker gets elected. If the results give a clear majority, let’s say to the ANC and MK to form 52% or something, and they come to an agreement, we will see that play out with the election of the speaker. But if that’s not the case, there may be last-minute deals and negotiations going on throughout until the 17th, until they are in the chamber.

00:15:09:06 – 00:15:31:22

Corné Mulder
What could happen is a repeat of what happened when we elected the mayor in Johannesburg, where there was no election agreement beforehand on who was going to become the mayor. So as we went in there, different parties could nominate different candidates. And if the ANC does not have a majority for speaker or president, they will nominate their candidate, and then we will have a ballot paper being printed.

00:15:32:00 – 00:15:54:13

Corné Mulder
We will have an election in Parliament with ballot boxes and with the voters roll being the 400 new members. We will be called to vote, and we will vote one by one. The parties will check, and we will count the votes. If somebody does not get the full majority in the first round, the candidate with the least votes will fall out, and that party will be forced in the second round to decide where they put their vote.

00:15:54:15 – 00:16:15:00

Corné Mulder
So it could be that somebody quickly reaches a majority, or it could be that you get a ganging up of all the opposition votes one by one, falling in behind a different opposition candidate until right in the end, all the opposition in a secret ballot unites to vote for a president from the opposition, and the ANC is kept out.

00:16:15:00 – 00:16:31:06

Corné Mulder
That will be fascinating, because the moment that happens, we have a president not coming from the former ruling party who will then have to form a coalition government, with all the powers that the Constitution gives that president. We will be in an interesting phase in our political dispensation.

00:16:31:12 – 00:17:14:00

Alec Hogg
Yoh, this political story is becoming more and more interesting. Just to go into the individual provinces—you’ve got an MPC or a member of the provincial council in the Freedom Front in every single province except KZN, and in fact, two in the North West, and three in Gauteng. So, I guess just getting one or two members of those provincial councils is going to be critical, given that the races are so tight in a number of those provinces. It’s going to be quite interesting to see whether the multi-party coalition, of which you are a member, is going to have enough to tip the scales there, and then how the spoils, if you like, are going to be divided up. Can you give us some insight on how that might work?

00:17:18:18 – 00:17:40:01

Corné Mulder
Your analysis is absolutely correct. We hope to break into—and break in is not a good word, but politically speaking—KZN in this election and to get representation there as well. You must understand that Mpumalanga, for example, has increased the legislature from 30 to 52 or something. The legislature is much bigger now, so we hope to get some more representation.

00:17:40:01 – 00:18:00:08

Corné Mulder
If you look at the coalition possibilities, everybody knows KZN is going to be one. Gauteng will be one. I work very hard. I believe that the Western Cape could be one, which I think is a good thing. National could be one. And then there is still the Free State, and the Free State and the Northern Cape could also form coalitions perhaps.

00:18:00:10 – 00:18:21:03

Corné Mulder
So it’s going to be very interesting to see how this plays out. If you understand that, for example, let’s take a smaller legislature like the Northern Cape or Free State. It’s only 30 members. At the moment, the ANC, I think, governs the Northern Cape with 18 seats. If they lose three seats, it’s a 15-15 split, and you can form a coalition, and it’s most likely to happen even if you look on a national level.

Read more: BNC#6: Corné Mulder – Only coalitions, inter-party collaboration can unseat the ANC

00:18:21:05 – 00:18:46:17

Corné Mulder
When I saw the turnout for South African expats abroad when they voted last week or earlier in the week, it was a huge turnout, huge enthusiasm, which indicates to me that there’s something in the air. But if you look at the numbers, all those votes that were cast from abroad will most likely elect one or maybe two members of Parliament, which sounds small—two members out of 400.

00:18:46:17 – 00:19:13:17

Corné Mulder
But you never know, those two different members of Parliament elected by the expats could make the difference to get to a majority, to elect a speaker or a president. From our perspective, we will be involved. We are active in all the provinces. I believe we will get people elected into the provinces, and where we can form coalition governments, we will definitely do so with the other parties in the multi-party charter and, when need be, bring other parties who get people elected that we can work with into those coalition governments.

00:19:13:19 – 00:19:36:02

Corné Mulder
If you look at the Western Cape, interestingly enough, the multi-party charter agreement is not in force in the Western Cape because the idea was that the DA governs the Western Cape in any case. But if you look at some of the polls and what’s happening—and I’m responsible for the Western Cape—it’s most possible that the DA could also go below 50%. We have indicated that we will cooperate with them.

00:19:36:02 – 00:19:49:18

Corné Mulder
There is also the ACDP, which is a multi-party charter party in the Western Cape. We will be able to form a government in the Western Cape to keep the ANC and the EFF out of power because they are not real serious contenders in any case in the Western Cape, you know that.

00:19:49:19 – 00:19:53:00

Alec Hogg
But the PA is. And that’s a long story in itself.

00:19:53:01 – 00:19:58:16

Corné Mulder
Yes, absolutely. The PA definitely is. We’ll see how that plays out.

00:19:58:18 – 00:20:10:21

Alec Hogg
Might there, after this election, be some kind of a uniting or getting together between the DA and the PA, given that there’s been so much bad blood in the months leading up to it?

00:20:10:23 – 00:20:32:17

Corné Mulder
I think, with all due respect, it’s a problem of personalities and not so much a problem of policy. I’ve always said if individuals stand in the way of development, if individuals stand in the way of cooperation, if individuals stand in the way of forming a new government that can take South Africa forward, those individuals should go, whoever they may be.

00:20:32:18 – 00:20:52:04

Corné Mulder
So we will have to see how that plays out. If you look at the policy positions, the Patriotic Alliance aligns very strongly with the positions taken by the multi-party charter in terms of no expropriation without compensation, guaranteeing property rights, a free market economy, and strict law and order.

00:20:52:06 – 00:21:15:03

Corné Mulder
Those are the things that align with what we are trying to do. Whether we like it or not, a party like the Patriotic Alliance will get people elected in some of the provinces. They will get people elected on the national level, and we will have to deal with that in the same way that Mmusi Maimane will get people elected in some provinces or nationally. Rise Mzansi will do the same, and there may be other individual parties that have members elected.

00:21:15:05 – 00:21:25:13

Corné Mulder
Then we need to try and put together a workable coalition. I think that’s possible, and I hope that we can achieve that. But the ball is in the court of the electorate at this stage.

00:21:25:15 – 00:21:45:01

Alec Hogg
It’s interesting when you mention the new parties because there are two schools of thought. One school is that they are going to be shooting stars and not really have that much representation. But another school of thought says there will definitely be some breakthroughs. The PA hasn’t had anyone in the National Assembly before.

00:21:45:01 – 00:22:18:04

Alec Hogg
In other words, in the national parliament, it’s almost certain that they’re going to get significant representation there. Of course, we’ve spoken earlier about MK as well. Now you mention BOSA and Rise Mzansi, and of course, ActionSA is also in that mix. This could make the portfolio committees very interesting because a lot of those parties, I’ve spoken to their representatives and they are very smart people who have been drawn to those individual units—not just the leaders of the party, but people around them. This brings a thesis, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, that the level of debate, the level of discourse, and maybe legislation itself will go up a notch or two in the next session.

00:22:31:00 – 00:22:51:16

Corné Mulder
Definitely. Even if the ANC gets a small majority in a coalition with whoever, they will be a weakened government who will have to take more cognizance of what other parties say and do in Parliament. If you look at the portfolio committees, with thirty members in a committee, if there’s no clear party with a majority on their own, it’s going to be fascinating.

00:22:51:16 – 00:23:12:00

Corné Mulder
To accommodate the different parties, you’ll have to work out a formula of representation for the different political parties, and then you will have to find compromises in terms of legislation, oversight, and all the things that committees are responsible for. If you look at the national ballot, for example, you’ll find more than 50 parties—I think 52, whatever the case may be.

00:23:12:02 – 00:23:33:01

Corné Mulder
If you run through that list, I would wager that ten, maybe eleven parties are serious contenders who will most likely get people elected. In the end, even if a party gets one or two seats in this election, that number of two members of Parliament may make the difference.

00:23:33:03 – 00:23:51:18

Corné Mulder
When you elect a speaker or when you have to pass a budget, no party can then say “I’m a big party” because if you don’t have a majority on your own, you’re only a big small party. That’s the wonderful thing about coalitions. You need to cooperate and bring people together and accommodate them.

00:23:51:20 – 00:24:09:04

Corné Mulder
That’s the interesting thing that will play out. In the committees and the workings of Parliament, it’s going to be very relevant. As you correctly say, there are lots of very competent people in some of these other parties. To a large extent, the focus has been on the leaders, but you have to look beyond the leaders.

00:24:09:04 – 00:24:16:20

Corné Mulder
There are brilliant people in all the parties with wonderful ideas, and I think we will enhance our democratic process very much.

00:24:16:22 – 00:24:38:15

Alec Hogg
Just to close off, you are the longest-serving MP. I’d love to hear how you think, as of this point—there are still a few more days to go—but as of this point, how it’s all going to break down. Let’s stick with the National Assembly, and maybe if you’ve got some more thoughts on the provincial assemblies.

00:24:38:17 – 00:24:59:05

Corné Mulder
It seems to me—and the polls are very difficult to take seriously sometimes because polls are a snapshot for one second and you don’t know exactly. Our electorate is also a difficult electorate. I’m not convinced that many of these pollsters do the good, or go through the trouble to go and knock and visit people one by one at home randomly to do these polls.

00:24:59:05 – 00:25:18:10

Corné Mulder
Many of these polls are done on social media or on cell phones, etc. You can’t really rely on that. But the atmosphere in the country at the moment—and there’s something in the air that I can feel—indicates to me that we should expect the ANC to go below 50%. First point, I think they will go further below 50 than we think.

00:25:18:12 – 00:25:35:06

Corné Mulder
I think they will be somewhere between 40 and 45 most likely. The positive of that is they will not be able to form a government with one or two of the small parties with one or two seats. They will be forced to have some kind of another arrangement. But as they try, the multi-party charter will do exactly the same.

00:25:35:06 – 00:25:57:11

Corné Mulder
I hope that the opposition parties grasp the importance of the moment where we suddenly can have, after 30 years, a different multi-party government consisting of other parties than the ruling party. On the national level, I’m optimistic for the multi-party charter. I would have hoped that we could have been way further down the line than we are at the moment, and there are various reasons for that.

Read more: BNC#6: Corné Mulder Q&A – Electoral strategies and coalition dynamics

00:25:57:12 – 00:26:22:14

Corné Mulder
Still, I think that the parties within the charter will do well. We will get the necessary support, and obviously they are going to go all out to form a government and bring in other parties that we can work with and cooperate with to keep the ANC and the EFF out of government. If you look at the provinces, for example, KZN was a clear-cut case where the IFP should have come out on top, but that was before MK became a relevant factor. It’s very difficult to predict.

00:26:22:16 – 00:26:37:10

Corné Mulder
MK’s basic support or major support is in the northern part of KZN. It’s very difficult to poll those. It’s difficult to ascertain if those people will go out to the polls on polling day. We don’t know, but KZN is going to be a difficult one, but it’s going to be a coalition in some way.

00:26:37:12 – 00:27:00:22

Corné Mulder
Gauteng also, obviously. And then the Western Cape—either the DA retains its majority, which will be very slim, but I think it’s going to be a coalition as well. The important thing is that you’ve got the economic heart of South Africa—KZN, Gauteng, and the Western Cape—out of ANC hands. In any case, in the first instance, in coalition with opposition parties, as a bonus, Northern Cape most likely, the Free State may also be a bonus.

00:27:01:00 – 00:27:34:14

Corné Mulder
The result of that is that the stranglehold that the ANC had on the country for 30 years will now be broken. It will not be the final, wonderful, clear victory and the end of the ANC. The ANC will slowly but surely decline over time. But this will lay the foundation for 2026, where we can take final balanced control over metros, municipalities, etc. Hopefully, if we don’t succeed now, 2029 will be the dawn of a completely new beginning.

00:27:34:19 – 00:27:38:14

Corné Mulder
But we will not succeed in 2029 if we do not go to the polls now.

00:27:38:15 – 00:28:04:20

Alec Hogg
I can’t let you go without testing a little more on the Western Cape. Tony Leon made the comment earlier this week that anybody who votes against the DA in the most successfully governed province in the country, the only one that’s being well-governed, needs their heads read. Why do you think there will be sufficient people voting against the DA in the Western Cape, so that it won’t have a majority anymore?

00:28:04:22 – 00:28:24:23

Corné Mulder
Being the former leader of the DA, he couldn’t say anything else, could he? The reality is we should just put all the facts on the table. In the Western Cape, we have 25 municipalities, and the DA is governing very well. But what they don’t say is that in 11 of those 25, they are currently in coalition governments with the Freedom Front Plus.

00:28:24:23 – 00:28:45:03

Corné Mulder
We are in 11 coalition governments in this province. So if you say it’s going well in the Western Cape, it’s not only because of the DA, it’s because of Freedom Front Plus playing a role as a stable, reliable coalition partner that brings clean audits, no corruption, etc. We will continue to do so also on the provincial level.

00:28:45:03 – 00:29:07:22

Corné Mulder
We have to be honest, if we say it’s not good for the ANC to govern South Africa, then why is it good for the DA to govern alone? I don’t believe in governance by one political party. I think collective leadership and collective decision-making force you to compromise and to get beyond yourself, to think that you’ve got all the answers all by yourself, to listen to other parties and then find the best way forward.

00:29:08:03 – 00:29:24:07

Corné Mulder
That’s the same for the Western Cape. I hear what is being said. But if you look at the reality in the Western Cape legislature, 42 seats, the DA currently has 24. We are making huge progress in the Western Cape. There’s no doubt in that. It will play out in this election.

00:29:24:07 – 00:29:49:10

Corné Mulder
I’m the premier candidate. I get overwhelming support at the moment. Then there’s also the factor of the Patriotic Alliance. ActionSA is a relevant role player. The National Cape Congress is relevant, and other parties as well. But it’s not a problem, it’s not a fiasco that somebody needs to go out and try to rescue the Western Cape. Rescue them from what? If a coalition government can bring even better governance to the people of the Western Cape?

00:29:49:12 – 00:29:51:18

Corné Mulder
Why not? Definitely. We should do that.

00:29:51:20 – 00:30:01:10

Alec Hogg
Dr. Corné Mulder is the premier candidate for the Freedom Front Plus in the Western Cape. I’m Alec Hogg from BizNews.com.

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