DA’s Macpherson a star on the rise

Published Jul 3, 2024


Durban — The DA strongman Dean Macpherson’s political star keeps rising following his announcement as the new public works and infrastructure minister by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday.

Macpherson is rolling up his sleeves as he prepares to tackle the grinding poverty head-on.

Soon after his announcement as the new minister, Dean took to Facebook and wrote: “Together (with his deputy Sihle Zikalala) we will make a great team to turn South Africa into a massive construction zone to drive the much-needed job creation,” said Macpherson.

He added: “I’m incredibly honoured to be able to serve my country that I so dearly love in this capacity. I look forward to working with Deputy Minister Sihle Zikalala, who I have known for many years as the premier of KZN and minister in this department.”

Topping his to-do list is eradicating the abandoned buildings that house criminals in Durban and Gauteng.

Many government-owned buildings have been abandoned in the city centres.

Macpherson is also chairperson of the DA in KwaZulu-Natal.

He will be working with his party member Martin Meyer, who is the MEC for public works and infrastructure in KZN.

“One very great thing about this government of unity is this bigger spirit of cooperation and co-governance in the province,” said Meyer after he was named public works and infrastructure MEC by KZN’s Premier Thami Ntuli.

He added: “While the challenges within the department are massive, they can be overcome with strong political will. This is a department that will work for the people of KZN in rebuilding our province.”

Ramaphosa ended weeks of speculation after announcing his Government of National Unity (GNU) Cabinet on Sunday which is top-heavy with representatives from parties such as the ANC, the DA, IFP and Gayton McKenzie’s PA.

Ramaphosa had been under pressure to announce his Cabinet following the May 29 elections that failed to produce an outright majority winner.

The ANC, which has been governing with a majority since the first democratic elections in 1994, dramatically plunged to 40% from the 57% it garnered in 2019.

This forced the party to go cap in hand, with a begging bowl to other small parties to form a government.

Macpherson was deployed to the Cabinet alongside his party leaders John Steenhuisen, who is the new agriculture minister; Siviwe Gwarube, who takes the Basic Education Ministry; and Solly Malatsi, the new communications and digital technologies minister.

Ramaphosa also roped in IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa, as the new Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister (Cogta); and IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa, as deputy transport minister.

IFP deputy president Inkosi Mzamo Buthelezi is the new public service and administration minister.

PA leader Gayton McKenzie is counting his lucky stars after he was announced the new sport, arts and culture minister.

Initially, the PA’s inclusion in the GNU was challenged by its sworn enemy, the DA.

After days of bickering between the two political rivals, Ramaphosa used his powers as the president and appointed McKenzie to the position.

The parties that were left out of the GNU power deal were the Jacob Zuma-led uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) and Julius Malema’s EFF.

Meanwhile, the reigning monarch of the Zulu nation King Misuzulu kaZwelithini has welcomed the new Cabinet.

In a statement, the traditional prime minister of the Zulu nation, Rev Thulasizwe Buthelezi, said: “His majesty applauds all leaders who put aside their political differences to focus on the collective duty of taking the country forwards through the Government of National Unity.”

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