Black Business Council applauds Ramaphosa for stripping Trade and Industry from the DA

DA leader John Steenhuisen and President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Armand Hough/Independent Newspapers

DA leader John Steenhuisen and President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Armand Hough/Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 28, 2024


The Black Business Council (BBC) has applauded President Cyril Ramaphosa for his bold and courageous leadership in denying the Democratic Alliance the key and strategic portfolio for Trade and Industry.

According to a leaked DA letter to Ramaphosa from DA leader John Steenhuisen, the DA had been offered the ministries of Home Affairs, Basic Education, Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), Public Works, Communications and Fisheries and Forestries.

However, an IOL report on Thursday quoted highly placed sources saying dtic had been taken back by the ANC and former Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool was touted for the job.

The impasse over cabinet positions has reportedly put the ANC and DA coalition agreement to the brink of collapse.

The BBC chief executive Kganki Matabane said Ramaphosa has showed impressive leadership by insisting that the DTIC not be allocated to the DA.

Why is the DTIC so important?

The BBC explained that the department houses all the instruments to implement socio-economic redress measures as per the South African Constitution. These include institutions such as the BEE Commission, Competition Commission, Industrial Development Corporation and the National Empowerment Fund.

“As such, it will not make sense at all, for the DTIC to fall under people who are 110% opposed to economic transformation and who will deliberately continue to exclude and derail the economic transformation agenda,” said Matabane.

Furthermore, the BBC said that it is calling on Ramaphosa to finalise the appointment and announcement of his executive team expeditiously.

The council argued that “this would allow and enable the country to focus on the challenging work of decisively addressing the imbalances of the past that increase the persistently low rate of economic growth”.

It would also allow the country to deal with the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality, which have their roots in the Apartheid period, the BBC said.

“The BBC is fully behind President Ramaphosa and will continue to work with him. The BBC fully comprehends the fact that this is an unchartered terrain and a watershed moment that needs cool and matured heads to safeguard the future of South Africa,” said Matabane.

Talks between the ANC and the DA have reached a sticky point this week, with the DA threatening to walk away from the GNU. The DA initially demanded 11 cabinet ministries and the deputy president position, but the ANC has offered the DA six minister positions.

In a leaked letter from Ramaphosa to Steenhuisen, it was revealed that the DA wanted two more ministerial positions to take their tally to eight.

Ramaphosa said he was taken aback by the request and accused the DA of shifting goalposts.

“I am sure that you are aware that the DA is not the only party we are negotiating with on the setting up of the GNU,” Ramaphosa reminded Steenhuisen in his letter.

ANC-DA talks collapsing

The coalition agreement between the ANC and DA were reportedly on the state of collapse as of Thursday night, according to highly placed sources within the ANC.

As part of the GNU arrangement, the ANC and DA formed a voter base of around 60% of support with other parties also signing a document of intent.

According to ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula, who was leading GNU talks for the ANC, they were “almost done with GNU discussions”, which were “in the best interest of all South Africans.

“It will be done as promised,” he tweeted.

— ANC SECRETARY GENERAL | Fikile Mbalula (@MbalulaFikile) June 28, 2024

Ramaphosa in his letter also said he intended to conclude talks this week. On Friday, he announced the Opening of Parliament for the 7th Administration would take place on July 18.