‘GOOD not in GNU for cabinet positions’

Patricia de Lille’s Good Party became the latest to join what has been described as the Government of National Unity (GNU). Picture: Henk Kruger/Independent Newspapers

Patricia de Lille’s Good Party became the latest to join what has been described as the Government of National Unity (GNU). Picture: Henk Kruger/Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 18, 2024


The ANC’s coalition with the DA, IFP and Patriotic Alliance now collectively boasts 273 or 68% seats in the National Assembly after Patricia de Lille’s Good Party became the latest to join what has been described as the Government of National Unity (GNU).

In a statement on Monday, ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said discussions with other parties were ongoing in the spirit of inclusivity. She said the GNU will ensure representation in government and legislatures by all participating parties, making decisions by consensus, with mechanisms for conflict resolution where necessary.

“This collaborative initiative is founded on core principles, including upholding the Constitution and Rule of Law, promoting non-racialism and non-sexism, and ensuring social justice, redress, equity, and poverty alleviation.

Our aim is to foster nation-building, social cohesion, and unity in diversity while maintaining peace, stability, and safe communities. Ensuring accountability, transparency, and community participation in governance is paramount.

“The GNU’s priorities and minimum programme are fully aligned with the ANC's longstanding commitments and policies.

“The president will exercise the prerogative to appoint the Cabinet, in consultation with leaders of GNU parties, adhering to existing protocols on government decision-making and budgeting.

“All political parties represented in legislatures remain welcome to join the GNU even after its formation as its very ethos is a spirit of inclusivity,” she said.

GOOD’s decision to join the GNU comes as President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to announce his Cabinet following his inauguration at the Union Buildings in Tshwane on Wednesday.

Asked if De Lille was in line for a Cabinet post, the party said: “We have had no discussions about positions in the GNU nor did we make any demand for any positions in the GNU.

“Our support for the GNU was made in the interests of furthering our commitment to a coherent national programme which includes GOOD’s four foundational pillars of justice: social justice, spatial justice, economic justice and environmental justice.”

Speaking on 702 radio on Monday, DA federal chairperson Helen Zille said there were “fantastic” ministries they would like to be allocated to their members.

“We would very much like to have those but this is a matter of discussion between our leader, John Steenhuisen and the president. The president is bound to take seriously the outcome of the election and proportionality between different parties in the outcome of the election while constituting his cabinet,” she added.

The PA’s leader Gayton McKenzie has on record wished to be appointed as minister of police or home affairs.

The outgoing Cabinet has 30 ministers and 36 deputy ministers – something some want to be trimmed along with some departments.

ActionSA parliamentary leader Athol Trollip said his party noted reports suggesting that the GNU could be planning to expand the size of an already bloated Cabinet.

Trollip urged the ruling coalition to reduce the number of government departments to approximately 20 and to eliminate unnecessary deputy minister positions in all departments.

“We believe this will free up funds to be redirected towards critical areas like service delivery and the maintenance of critical economic infrastructure,” said Trollip.

Policy analyst and researcher Nkosikhulule Nyembezi said it is possible that any minister not coming from the ANC will face strong opposition in portfolios dominated by unionised civil servants that belong to Cosatu.

“Departments such as education and health already face huge budget deficits, there are thousands of disgruntled temporary teachers and nurses expecting full-time employment, thousands of ghost and unqualified workers, bankrupted school nutrition programmes. Yet the unions are likely to resist any bold changes introduced by a minister from a small party to turn around the situation.

“The Public Service and Administration portfolio will be challenging as the DA is impatiently waiting to reverse the cadre deployment of incompetent ANC appointees. It is possible that the IFP will aim for Cogta (Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs) to influence and enhance the role of traditional leaders and protect the ownership of the land under Ingonyama Trust. The IFP’s sensitivity on traditional leadership affairs is likely to benefit traditional leaders nationally and harmonise relations.”

Meanwhile, Zille said the DA will not support the impeachment of Ramaphosa until evidence suggested that there should be an impeachment. This relates to a motion tabled by EFF deputy leader at Friday’s first sitting arising from the Phala-Phala scandal.

“We have not said in future we will never ever do anything but we will not support a motion of no confidence in the president ... . that is definitely part of the agreement.

If any evidence emerges of criminal wrongdoing or something like that we would have to look at the issues and deal with them inside the GNU. We can’t be held hostage,” said Zille

Cape Times