‘Looks like the government of national unity is getting really wobbly’: ActionSA

ActionSA caucus leader in the National Assembly, Athol Trollip. File Picture: Timothy Bernard/Independent Media

ActionSA caucus leader in the National Assembly, Athol Trollip. File Picture: Timothy Bernard/Independent Media

Published Jun 23, 2024


As South Africans keenly await the announcement of Cabinet to take posts in the seventh administration, opposition party ActionSA has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint highly qualified candidates as ministers.

In the May 29 general elections, the ANC received its worst election result since apartheid ended 30 years ago in South Africa. The ANC garnered 40% of the vote, losing its absolute majority in Parliament.

IOL last week reported that Ramaphosa had officially begun his second term after his party formulated the government of national unity, incorporating its decades-old rival, the Democratic Alliance (DA), and other smaller parties, including the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the Patriotic Alliance (PA).

Earlier, the ANC said the 10 political parties constituting the GNU together secured over 70% of the vote in the 2024 elections, ensuring broad representativity and a strong mandate to govern South Africa. Some of the political parties however have publicly demanded specific Cabinet ministries in the seventh administration.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was last week sworn in by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. File Picture.

In an interview with broadcaster Newzroom Afrika, leader of the ActionSA caucus in the National Assemby, Athol Trollip, said Ramaphosa has a tough balancing act in allocating the cushy Cabinet posts.

“Cyril Ramaphosa does not have a good record in putting his foot down, unfortunately for South Africa. I think the parties that have joined, for example Patriotic Alliance, made no bones about it ... Gayton McKenzie said he was looking for at least one ministerial position, either home affairs or police, and possibly two positions. Patricia de Lille of GOOD has been a minister in the last term, she wants to be a minister again and make no mistake, all the other small parties – whether they have got one seat or two seats, they are going to be making extractive demands.

“Cyril Ramaphosa is gonna have to balance that. But the biggest balancing act is keeping their main partner, the Democratic Alliance in this GNU. It looks like it is getting really wobbly,” said Trollip.

A recent public spate involving the ANC, DA and the PA has triggered concern over the strength of the government of unity, and its longevity.

IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa, ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa and DA leader John Steenhuisen. Pictures: Timothy Bernard, Oupa Mokoena, Timothy Berndard/Independent Media

Last week, IOL reported that the Inkatha Freedom Party's Velenkonisi Hlabisa believes the public spat between ANC secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula, and chairperson of the DA’s federal council, Helen Zille, is merely a case of teething problems.