Vavi: ANC supporters would rather vote for United Front

The former Cosatu head says he & DA leader Mmusi Maimane previously discussed a possible coalition.

Former Cosatu leader  Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Masa Kekana/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi says surveys show that African National Congress (ANC) supporters would rather vote for the United Front Union than to opt for any of the opposition parties.

Vavi says he and the Democratic Alliance (DA) met in February, but it was primarily to discuss an Ipsos survey indicating that no party will win the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro outright.

He says party leader Mmusi Maimane also discussed a possible coalition between the DA and the UFU, which he said wouldn't work.

Vavi says although the United Front isn't a political party, there are plans to formalise one and there's a possibility it could run in the upcoming municipal elections.

He says the United Front could provide an alternative for those who used to vote for the ANC.

Vavi says while he is not the leader of the United Front, he would also caution against a coalition with the ANC because they have different policies.


Meanwhile, Vavi has said he would never associate himself with the DA and has cautioned the United Front against forming a coalition with the party.

The Sunday Times yesterday reported that the opposition party is trying to woo Vavi as its deputy mayoral candidate in Nelson Mandela Bay.

But Vavi said the meeting was to discuss an Ipsos survey.

He added while he's angry with the ANC, he would never consider teaming up with the DA.

"No, I am a worker leader and I proudly associate with the policies that have been advanced by civil society."

Vavi said a coalition between the DA and the United Front wouldn't work as their policies are too different.

"It's like water and oil, it will not mix and will be an odd alliance."

At the same time, the DA has confirmed it held a meeting with Vavi but said there were no talks of a coalition.

DA spokesperson Refiloe Ntsekhe said it's the party's prerogative to meet with whoever they want.

"This is a free country and we will meet with different party members because we have different relationships around the country."

However, Vavi apparently admitted to paper that he was approached by Maimane about the possibility of a coalition, after an Ipsos survey revealed that no party would win the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

Vavi said he referred Maimane to the United Front, which was formed after the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa's (Numsa) breakaway from Cosatu.

Ntsekhe meanwhile said such talks will only be held after the local government elections in August.

"We can never go and start discussing a coalition after the elections, we believe we are going into this election to win it outright."

She said the party could meet with other political role-players in the near future.