‘It is laughable’: Solly Msimanga says MEC posts given to Rise Mzansi, PA and IFP are diluted and ineffective

DA leader in Gauteng, Solly Msimanga interacting with Premier Panyaza Lesufi. File Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

DA leader in Gauteng, Solly Msimanga interacting with Premier Panyaza Lesufi. File Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

Published Jul 4, 2024


The Democratic Alliance in Gauteng says it will gladly occupy opposition benches in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, and play the role of an effective opposition after Premier Panyaza Lesufi announced his executive council.

Negotiations between the provincial ANC led by Lesufi, which garnered 34.7% of the vote, and the DA in Gauteng which secured 27.4% of the provincial vote in the May polls deadlocked on the allocation of seats in the executive, forcing the DA to decline the offer by the ANC to be incorporated in a government of provincial unity.

IOL reported on Wednesday night that Lesufi had unveiled his provincial executive of largely ANC Members of Executive Council (MECs), joined by three executives representing the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Patriotic Alliance (PA), and Rise Mzansi.

National chairperson of Rise Mzansi, Vuyiswa Ramokgopa was appointed by Lesufi as MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development; the IFP’s Bonginkosi Ndlovu was appointed as MEC for e-Government; and Patriotic Alliance’s Sheila Mary Peters was appointed MEC for Environment.

Rise Mzansi national chairperson, Vuyiswa Ramokgopa. File Picture: Itumeleng English / Independent Newspapers

On Thursday morning, DA Gauteng leader Solly Msimanga said the positions created for the IFP, Patriotic Alliance and Rise Mzansi were actually “diluted” and ineffective in service delivery.

“Minimum for them (ANC) was getting seven seats in the cabinet plus one seat of the premier. So they wanted to have eight seats in the cabinet and make sure they only give three seats to the DA and other parties. That is something that we were not prepared to do,” Msimanga told broadcaster Newzroom Afrika.

“Also, we were not prepared to just give names, then hope and pray that the departments that we will be given would be meaningful. See what has been given to other political parties now as MECs. Those departments have been diluted now to be absolutely nothing. The powers of those departments have been taken away. I’ll give an example, the Department of e-Gov has never been a standalone, it’s always been merged either with infrastructure or in the last term, it was always merged with Cogta (Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs).”

DA leader in Gauteng, Solly Msimanga. File Picture: Supplied

“At this time it is just gonna be in limbo. You are not gonna be able to do much. The Department of Agriculture in Gauteng has never been a standalone. It has always been with Economic Development because Gauteng is not a big agricultural province. It relies on other provinces,” he said.

The former mayor of Tshwane said agriculture in Gauteng exists in the form of agro-processing and therefore the department should be married to the Economic Development portfolio.

“That has also been stripped, and it is laughable to then say you are now having a Department of Environment that talks to helping municipalities to clean up. Really? That is a joke of note. This doesn’t talk to real power sharing. The ANC has exposed itself that they did not want partners, they wanted voters,” said Msimanga.

Gauteng Premier, Panyaza Lesufi. File Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

“They are now taking 98% of the budget and the power, and they are only giving 2% to those they claim to now be coming in as partners. This is not going to have any kind of impact in the life of the people of Gauteng. This is what the DA said they are not going to be part of.”

The DA said it remains open to further engagements.