Supporters are uneasy about the ANC coalition dilemma in South Africa.

ANC supporters during a rally.

Sinah Molokwane, a lifelong member of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC), is struggling to accept that her party will be sharing power for the first time since it ended white minority rule 30 years ago. ANC leaders held talks on Thursday on potential partners for a new government after voters angered by economic stagnation, high unemployment, crime, and power blackouts ended a majority it has held since 1994. The coalition could bring in parties as diverse as the Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the pro-business, white-led Democratic Alliance (DA). However, for many ANC rank and file members, the prospect of an alliance including the DA is unpalatable, reflecting divisions within the party's factions over who to partner with.

A deal with the DA is favoured by the business community and global investors, but some ANC supporters see it as a potential throwback to South Africa's painful past. In a country with a history of codified racism where white South Africans make up just 7% of the population of 62 million, the DA has struggled to shake off an image as a party of white privilege, a notion that its leaders firmly reject.

Western Cape, the province the DA has controlled since 2009, has done measurably better than the rest of South Africa, boasting the country's lowest jobless rate, its main city Cape Town being a major tourist destination, and even the country's notorious power cuts are less severe. However, ANC supporters like Virginia Hili, 58, from East London, are wary.

The ANC said on Wednesday it was leaning towards a government of national unity including several parties, even though internal party documents label such an option as a highly unstable alliance unlikely to last long. The ANC will have 159 seats out of 400 in the new National Assembly, while the DA will have 87.

Political analysts believe the EFF, led by Julius Malema, may be the most natural fit for the ANC, but they warn that EFF policy proposals, including nationalizing mines and banks and seizing white-owned land for redistribution to Black farmers, could tank the economy. The EFF leader's history of bitter feuds with the ANC could lead to instability if Malema's party were brought in to help govern.

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