Panyaza wins the DA-y

Sheila-Mary Peters. Pic: Supplied

Sheila-Mary Peters. Pic: Supplied

Published Jul 4, 2024


With the promise of fighting crime, corruption and revitalising the economic fortunes of the Gauteng province, Premier Panyaza Lesufi finally announced his provincial cabinet and members of the provincial council under the banner of the Government of Provincial Unity (GPU).

The announcement on Wednesday night comes after days of uncertainty following various delays and postponements due to stalled talks between the ANC and the DA.

On Wednesday, the DA announced that it had pulled out of the talks and would serve the province as one of the opposition political parties including the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party and the EFF.

Lesufi said since the results of the elections were announced, the ANC had sought to consult other parties.

“As earlier indicated, these are uncharted waters and there will be issues that divide us. In a boxing match, there is a need to box within the ring as there rules. We have done that and we have been guided by principles of GNU and we want to thank the DA for presenting deputy speaker. IFP and RISE Mzansi and Patriotic Alliance (PA). … As I said during my acceptance speech, we have been asked to work together and combine our thoughts for a better Gauteng and we will not leave anyone behind unless they choose to do, and this door will be permanently left open,” he said.

“Our task is to make Gauteng attractive for all families, workers, the youth, students and cultural events. Our mandate is simple: crime must be crushed and we must revitalise our CBD including our hostels and informal settlements,” he added.

Ahead of Lesufi's announcement, the DA leader in the province, Solly Msimanga, revealed that the DA will no longer be participating in the new GPU following various political back-and-forth between the two parties.

“The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng notes that the announcement of the Gauteng executive by Premier Panyaza Lesufi will take place on Wednesday the 3rd of July 2024.

“After robust engagements, and negotiations stretching over weeks, we have declined to take up seats on the African National Congress’s (ANC) terms, and will not form part of the Executive of the Gauteng Government of Provincial Unity (GPU),” he said.

Ahead of the failed talks, the ANC on Monday accused the DA of negotiating in bad faith and being a bully that wanted to dictate to the ANC over positions in the seventh administration of the province.

This comes after Lesufi was forced to call off his announcement at the eleventh hour on Tuesday and the resumption of the talks that failed to yield an agreement with the DA.

Msimanga said after a prolonged engagement involving various senior members of parties on both ends, on July 2 , the DA found itself unable to accept a counter-offer.

“The offer made to the DA was and continues to be one we find both unfair and unreasonable. In the spirit of unity, and in an effort to build a relationship with a foundation of trust, we entered into these critical negotiations.

“It is, however, impossible for the DA to be co-opted into government, as we are meant to be power sharing partners,” added Msimanga.

The DA provincial chairperson, who was presented as the party’s premier candidate in the province, said they will not be used as the ANC’s unofficial partners and rubber-stamp whatever the ANC wants to be approved.

“We will not be functionaries who rubber-stamp decisions made by an executive, that evidently, is intent on keeping us on the edge of the fray. Beyond the problematic nature of an attitude that seemingly does not understand what their significant loss of the vote share in Gauteng entails, an air of refusal to be partners, which ultimately is the goal, dominated conversations,” the DA said.

Msimanga added that for the negotiations to be fair, they are meant to be principle based, as per the Statement of Intent that both the ANC and the DA signed on a national level. “The ANC’s Gauteng leadership, and negotiations team, does not view this critically important document in the same light. If both parties were negotiating in good faith, the situation might have been different now. That was not the case, and the DA cannot be a part of a government that does not value fairness, proportionality, and principles in the same way we do.

“The Democratic Alliance has a long history of being a strong and unforgivingly thorough opposition. We are both comfortable and proud to enter back into the opposition benches from where we will serve the people of Gauteng,” he said.

Msimanga said the DA will in the next few days announce its shadow cabinet as the official opposition to the new GPU in order to ensure accountability.

Here is the list of the Gauteng Executive Council:

Bonginkosi Dlamini – eGov (IFP)

Lebogang Maile – Finance (ANC)

Matome Chiloane – Education and Sports (ANC)

Vuyiswa Ramokgopa – Agriculture and Rural Development (RISE Mzansi)

Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko – Health (ANC)

Jacob Mamabolo - Infrastructure and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) (ANC)

Kedibone Diale-Tlabela – Roads and Transport (ANC)

Tasneem Motara – Human Settlement (ANC)

Faith Mazibuko – Social Development (ANC)

Sheila-Mary Peters – Environment (PA)

| Additional reporting by Kamogelo Moichela