The exchange trip to Germany gave leading South African journalists and analysts the opportunity to gain insights into the experiences, challenges, and successes with coalitions in Germany at national, provincial and local level, and enable them to draw conclusions for the South African context. Engagements and briefings with relevant stakeholders and parliamentarians took place in Munich, Bavaria and Berlin, and key institutions visited included the Bavarian Landtag (Provincial Parliament) and the German Bundestag (National Parliament).
Among the subject areas were pre- and post-election coalitions, preliminary coalition talks and negotiations, drafting and enforcability of coalition agreements as well as the management of coalitions.
The engagements with German mayors, provincial and federal MPs and analysts were seen as productive and mutually enriching.
A highlight during the exchange of German decision makers and key representatives of South African media, PARI, the IEC and ISS was a meeting and comprehensive discussion with former Federal President Horst Köhler - a reflection of the vibrant relationships between our countries.
It was a great honour also to introduce and discuss our project work with key stakeholders in Germany, to further strengthen relations with South Africa and between continents.
A further focus of the intense delegation program was the role of African and European media, reporting on Africa. A discussion with experts underlined the importance of reliable and evidence-based reporting - a free, vibrant and professional press is key for our democracies and to raise awareness about each other’s countries and continents.
A visit at the newsroom of "Die Welt" in Berlin with inputs by Editor Ulf Poschardt, renowned journalist Christian Putsch and other colleagues offered opportunities for exchange with the South African Delegation, among them Sowetan Editor Nwabisa Makunga, Eyewitness News Editor Sbu Ngalwa and News24 Editor Adriaan Basson.
Find two informative articles by delegation participants here: