Lesufi could return as Gauteng premier

Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi Pictures: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi Pictures: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 12, 2024


As various political parties scramble to conclude coalition negotiations talks leading up to Friday’s swearing in of MPs, there are uncertainties over who will govern the country’s economic hub.

This comes after the ANC dipped below 50%, therefore falling short of governing the province.

The ANC has led Gauteng since the dawn of democracy. However, the party received 35% of the votes in this past election - a great decline from the 2019 elections when it received 50.2%.

According to a senior provincial member, talks were at an advanced stage between the ANC, IFP and DA.

Post the elections various parties represented in the legislature announced they were willing to work with political parties which were not far apart from each other in terms of political and ideological issues.

While demands are yet to be ironed out by parties involved in the negotiations, some parties believe sharing of positions will be a key determinant.

During an interview with The Star at the Results Operations Centre (ROC), Patriotic Alliance (PA) premier candidate Kenny Kunene said: “We have been consistent that when we vote for you to be premier, mayor or president, we must share power.

“That means sharing portfolios, which means when we raise those discussions, we will then raise the question of MEC portfolios, positions that must be allocated to the PA.”

The PA gained two seats in the Gauteng legislature, while ActionSA has only 4% of the votes in the province and the newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe Party is in fourth position.

The swearing-in of MPs and the election of the premier, speaker and presiding officers are expected to take place on Friday.

The date was determined by Gauteng Judge President Dustin Mlambo as mandated by the country’s Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

According to Justice Mlambo, the sitting to kickstart the seventh administration for the province will inaugurate the new Gauteng provincial legislature.

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi remains optimistic that he will return to his throne by Friday.

The sitting is scheduled to consider the swearing in of members of the legislature, the election of the premier, speaker and deputy speaker of the province, the election of the chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of committees, the designation of Gauteng permanent delegates to the National Council of Provinces and a resolution on the Gauteng mandate on the election of the chairperson and deputy chairperson of the National Council of Provinces.

According to reports, there has been multiple horse-trading discussions as the big day nears with ANC, IFP and PA having reportedly found some form of common ground that will deliver Lesufi’s second term.

ActionSA with just three seats in the legislature has fielded its premier candidate, Funzi Ngobeni, as its caucus leader in the province.

Speaking to The Star ahead of the swearing in ceremony, ActionSA spokesperson Malaika Ditabo said they were confident their candidate had a wealth of experience for the role, having served in local government since 2016.

Ngobeni was an ethical leader with a strong track record and brought significant experience to this position, Ditabo said.

“The residents of Gauteng can be certain that Mr Ngobeni will hold the administration accountable for the development of our beloved province. They can also expect a leader who delivers and is focused on serving the residents of Gauteng, seeing that progress is being achieved,“ Ditabo said.

Gauteng’s first sitting will be held in Shelbourne Hall at the provincial legislature.