GNU parties spell out how they will continue holding ‘government’ to account

Rise Mzansi leader Songezo Zibi said they never demanded executive positions. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

Rise Mzansi leader Songezo Zibi said they never demanded executive positions. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

Published Jul 3, 2024


Some parties that are part of the Government of National Unity (GNU) have indicated that they will not abandon their oversight role in holding the new government accountable.

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said his party accepted the Correctional Services Minister post in the cabinet to demonstrate its willingness to fulfil its role in the GNU to facilitate stability and progress in the country.

“The party’s participation in the executive authority will ensure that the right policy is implemented to create equal opportunities for everyone in the country.

“The decision was also made in order to promote the FF Plus’s policy directions with the sole aim of rebuilding South Africa and getting it back on the right track,” Groenewald said.

He said the Freedom Front Plus would always reserve its right to criticise and would make full use of all governmental processes to serve the interests of voters.

“The party found itself in an extraordinary position where it had to choose between merely fulfilling an opposition role or actively participating in deliberations in Cabinet to determine policy and legislation to benefit every single person in South Africa,” Groenewald said, adding the moment was a golden opportunity for opposition parties to play an active role from within the engine room to steer South Africa in the right direction.

GOOD party secretary-general Brett Herron said his party agreed to support the proposed GNU, not with the expectation of being rewarded with positions but to contribute constructively to the country’s transition to a new era of power sharing.

“Our support for the GNU won’t come at the cost of muting our voice.

GOOD will continue advocating for social, economic, spatial and environmental justice,” Herron said.

He said the GOOD Party, whose leader Patricia de Lille is now Tourism Minister, would continue to call for a Basic Income Grant and for the creation of an economic environment conducive to business health and growth.

Rise Mzansi leader Songezo Zibi said they never demanded executive positions.

ZIbi said his organisation looked forward to playing an active role in elevating the status of Parliament and ensuring the executive upheld the Constitution, acted with integrity and spent public funds correctly.

“Our participation in the GNU does not mean we will rubber-stamp all decisions of the executive. We will scrutinise all pronouncements and decisions of the executive, and where it is in the best interest of the people of South Africa, we will lend our support,” he said.

Zibi said they would push to ensure there was proper parliamentary oversight over the Presidency.

DA leader John Steenhuisen said the 12 executive positions that were spread clusters amounted to a recognition that the DA has a meaningful and vital role to play in the reconstruction of the country.

“The DA was never in this for positions for their own sake, which is why we refused to accept watered-down compromises, and why we drove a hard bargain at times to ensure that the portfolios we get are of real substance,” Steenhuisen said.

Cape Times