Cape Town Mayor Warns Against Far-Left South African Government

(Bloomberg) -- The mayor of South Africa’s second-biggest city warned of “devastating” consequences should populist parties be included in a coalition government after this week’s election.

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A series of opinion polls show the ruling African National Congress will lose the parliamentary majority it’s held for the past three decades, and will likely enlist the support of one or more smaller rivals to retain power. If its backing falls below about 45%, it may tie up with the business-friendly Democratic Alliance, or either the Economic Freedom Fighters or the new uMkhonto weSizwe Party, both of which favor the nationalization of mines and banks.

The DA is focusing on securing the biggest possible share of the vote to ensure it has the maximum bargaining power post the election, Geordin Hill-Lewis, the mayor of Cape Town and a senior member of the party, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Jennifer Zabasajja on Monday.

“It is really almost impossible to predict exactly how these new government negotiations are going to turn out,” he said. “I think it would be devastating development for South Africa to have a far-left government of the EFF and we should do quite a lot to prevent that happening.”

DA leader John Steehuisen has indicated his party may consider a tie-up with the ANC to prevent what he’s referred to as the “doomsday scenario” of the EFF being in government, although a coalition with the ruling party isn’t his preferred option.

Bloomberg Terminal clients can click on ELEC ZA for more on South Africa’s elections.

Patricia de Lille, the leader of the small GOOD party who serves as tourism minister in the national cabinet, played down the likelihood that no party will win the election outright.

“It’s all speculation,” she said in a separate interview. “I can’t wait for the 29th when South Africans will be speaking and once they have spoken, it is then for parties to see what the lay of the land is.”

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