Since 1994 the South African state has been governed through an Alliance of the
African National Congress (ANC), South African Communist Party (SACP) and
Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). Whilst each of these organisations
claims autonomy and independence, it shares a common history and core ideological
persuasions which has been articulated as the National Democratic Revolution (NDR).
Whilst ANC members may not necessarily have membership of the SACP or COSATU,
any member of the SACP or COSATU who desires to enter politics are required to
be a member of the ANC. The SACP and COSATU do not contest elections. As part
of the agreement, only the ANC contests elections and as such leads the Alliance.
This has led to a number of challenges, specifically related to public administration.
This article describes the nature of the tripartite alliance by considering the historical
roots of the alliance itself and its performance in government; and by concluding that
there is an understanding of the leadership role of the ANC within the Alliance. The
ANC itself is a reflection of the “broad church” nature of such an Alliance.