Which Coalition Is Preferred by SA Tech? Stakeholders Have A Say

In last week’s general election in South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC) failed to reach an outright majority for the first time since democracy, securing only 40% of the vote. This means that South Africa’s incoming government will comprise a coalition, which will impact the country’s economic sectors including tech.

On the campaign trail, tech policies including a government-backed VC fund, a startup act, and enabling AI policies were promised. With the election now done and coalition talks underway, the ecosystem is waiting to see which coalition government will make them a reality.

The Democratic Alliance, which secured 21% of the vote, was a major proponent of the introduction of the digital nomad VISA. “A DA and ANC makes the most sense because the DA has done a good job at enabling the growth of Cape Town as a tech hub and the ANC under President Ramaphosa was willing to engage with the Startup Act Movement,” said one ecosystem stakeholder who requested anonymity. The ANC and DA coalition is seconded by the co-founder of one of Cape Town's most prominent innovation hubs who also requested anonymity. “The ecosystem needs stability and policy certainty and a possible ANC and DA coalition offers this.”

In its manifesto and subsequent campaign efforts, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which garnered just over 9% of the national vote, promised a “well-endowed” government-backed venture capital fund. According to some ecosystem stakeholders who spoke to TechCabal, a coalition of the EFF, the ANC and the MK Party, which got 12% of the vote, would make more sense for tech. “I believe this coalition would be more receptive to the ecosystem’s role in creating jobs and economic progress and also support black participation,” said an ecosystem stakeholder who also requested anonymity.

With the deadline for coalition talks fast approaching, the ecosystem will be holding its breath to see which permutations of government become a reality. Whether any of the preferred coalitions will enact any of the campaign promises to drive the country’s tech forward is, of course, another story.

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