About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Tripartite Alliance

The Alliance, which is putting up one election list in the name of the African National Congress, consists formally of the ANC, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party. In late 1993 the South African National Civic Organisation was also co-opted on to the team.

Although its historical and ideological roots go back to the 1950s, with the Congress Alliance that brought together the ANC and its coloured, Indian and white counterparts, the Alliance continues because of a happy coincidence of present political interests. The ANC needs the organisational skills, material support and membership of the country's largest trade union federation. Many of its best strategists and election prospects belong to the SACP and the party's reputation for militancy has given it a powerful base in the ANC's constituency.

Cosatu needs a political organisation which can win the election for the constituent assembly and represent its interests in government.

The SACP does not have enough popular support to be a powerful political force on its own, so it must remain in an alliance with its more powerful partners and try to get them to incorporate its political and social objectives in their agendas.

No matter what critics might wish, it is unlikely that the Alliance will fragment while its members are jointly able to mobilise the majority of South Africans behind them.

Tel: c/o ANC (011) 3307000

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.