On April 1, John Steenhuisen was re-elected leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), South Africa’s largest opposition party, in a triennial congress in Midrand, just outside Johannesburg.

In his speech to 2,000 party members, he made clear the DA’s intent to wrestle power away from the governing African National Congress (ANC) in the 2024 national election and to prevent any possible alliance with another rival, the left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

“During the remaining months before next year’s election, the DA will make it our number one priority … to prevent an ANC-EFF coalition,” Steenhuisen said in his speech.

Next year’s election is seen as the most important one since the dawn of democracy and the end of apartheid in 1994. Already, there are fears among the ANC faithful that after three decades in power, the party may not garner the necessary 50 percent of votes needed to stay in power.