DA negotiates for the most ‘powerful’ ministry

DA leader John Steenhuisen tipped for Minister in the Presidency. Photographer: Henk Kruger / Independent Newspapers

DA leader John Steenhuisen tipped for Minister in the Presidency. Photographer: Henk Kruger / Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 23, 2024


The DA is set to have locked its eyes on the most powerful position in Cabinet – the minister in the Presidency.

Should the party gets this position, it would have control of the now moved portfolio in the office of the President – the State Security, which controls, monitors and provides the state with domestic and foreign threats.

This position would be occupied by the DA leader John Steenhuisen as the party’s federal chairperson Helen Zille had hinted.

During an interview with Clement Manyathela on 702 last week, Zille said the minister in the Presidency would be a reasonable position for Steenhuisen as they were not vying for the president or the deputy president position.

The DA leader would be responsible for several key entities, such as the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Statistics South Africa, the Government Communication and Information System, the Media Development and Diversity Agency, Brand South Africa, and the State Security Agency.

Zille also hinted that although it is not a ministerial position, the DA is eyeing the leader of government business.

During the president’s inauguration, the party’s senior member Siviwe Gwarube emphasised the party’s position on wanting to secure a position that would make sure that they created jobs, bringing the economy into order and also ensuring that it delivered on the DA’s key promises of lifting people out of poverty, and resolving the energy crisis.

“We are honestly looking at resolving the water crisis and stopping the violent crime we are seeing in our communities and that is what we seek to do and achieve in the national government,” Gwarube said at the time.

As things stand, the Statement of Intent seen making rounds on social media signed by both the ANC and DA saw it clinch deputy speaker of Parliament position.

Even though the alliance between the ANC and DA seems to be forging ahead, it has left a bitter taste in the mouths of some senior members.

Such a leader was former ANC Youth League leader Andile Lungisa, who shunned the inauguration as a protest against the DA/ANC “marriage”.

Lungisa said he couldn’t be around the company of individuals whose “political consciousness” had escaped them.

He said he would rather stay at his home village and milk his father’s cows than be seen working with the DA.

Lungisa said his political conscience as a Pan-Africanist came first and anything and everything else followed.

All eyes will be on President Cyril Ramaphosa this week as he is expected to announce the composition of the seventh administration’s Cabinet after a rigorous engagement he had with Government of National Unity founders and partners.

The ANC, along with the DA, IFP, PA and other smaller parties supported Ramaphosa’s nomination and election as president in Parliament on June 14.

As a result, they are expected to be “rewarded” with Cabinet appointments.