‘We will be in national cabinet’ – Steenhuisen

By Zukile Majova
Political Editor

The DA is expected to get as many as five cabinet posts in a future government of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

DA leader John Steenhuisen said this while addressing the media in parliament on Friday.

“In terms of the agreement, the DA will assume various leadership roles in the national cabinet, the National Assembly, the National Council of Provinces and on parliamentary portfolio committees broadly and proportionately.”

At least four parties have signed a statement of intent to form a Government of National Unity, but the rest of the deal is still in the making.

The first sitting of parliament was in session on Thursday morning while leaders of the GNU parties – the ANC, DA, IFP, and PA – were still finalising the first phase of their agreement.

Steenhuisen said the GNU deal would be stitched together in phases, but the final product will prioritise “rapid economic growth and job creation”.

Steenhuisen said the next step would be a lekgotla (conference) of the GNU partners, as individual partners conducted initial negotiations with the ANC delegation.

The GNU model is expected to apply in hung provinces like Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. 

It’s a massive achievement for the DA, which won 1.7% of the vote in 1994, to co-govern with the ANC, potentially in all spheres of government.

“Today, the DA becomes a part of the national government. From today, the DA will co-govern the Republic of South Africa in a spirit of unity and collaboration,” Steenhuisen said.

IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa said there was an agreement in principle. PA president Gayton McKenzie said: “We have a deal. They say we are still talking, but we have a deal.”

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula said the ANC was still talking to other parties, including the MK party and a group of six parties – EFF, UDM, ATM, UAT, Al Jama-ah and PAC – who formed the so-called Progressive Caucus in parliament.

So far, the most important aspect of the GNU’s broad framework has been the agreement to resolve disagreements and the formulation of consensus among GNU partners.

“The GNU shall make decisions in accordance with the established practices of consensus. Where no consensus is possible, the principle of sufficient consensus shall apply,” the GNU framework agreement said.

The agreement defined sufficient consensus as existing when all parties have the opportunity to express their views. However, where there is no general consensus, a vote will pass when parties representing 60% of the GNU agree.

On Friday night, MPs were due to nominate and vote for the president-elect, and the GNU partners were expected to back Cyril Ramaphosa.

Pictured above: John Steenhuisen.

Source: X


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