The Democratic Alliance and the role of Opposition Parties in South Africa

In the 2014 election the Democratic Alliance (DA) strengthened its electoral
support nationally as well as in the Western Cape province, where it
governs. It gained over a million new national votes, increasing its total
from 2945 829 in 2009 to 4 091 548 in 2014. It also unseated the Inkatha
Freedom Party (IFP) as official opposition in KwaZulu-Natal and became
the official opposition in the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape
and Free State, while strengthening its opposition status in Gauteng from
21.86% of the vote in 2009 to 30.78% in 2014. In the Western Cape it gained
59.38% of the vote, an increase from 51.46% in 2009. This article considers
whether the DA’s 2014 electoral gains suggest a strengthening of opposition
politics in South Africa. It focuses on whether the DA meets the obligations
of an opposition party with regard to providing an institutional space for
counter-political elites to organise and providing a viable alternative to the
ruling party together with facilitating debate over political issues and public
policy while also performing an oversight role.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: 2009 General Elections, 2014 General Elections, ANC, DA, NDP, Western Cape
journal of african elections vol14 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa