DA’s Demand for Cabinet Positions Sparks Controversy in National Unity Government

National Unity Government

DA Seeks Key Positions in GNU

Following the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) request for 12 cabinet posts, including the Deputy President role in the Government of National Unity (GNU), the African National Congress (ANC) has affirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa holds the ultimate authority on cabinet appointments.

DA’s Letter to the ANC

On Sunday, DA federal chair Helen Zille wrote a letter to ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, informing him of the party’s desire for approximately 12 ministerial positions in the GNU. The letter, seen by IOL, also mentioned that the DA wants the authority to approve the appointments of directors-general for all departments under its control, a move many on social media equated to “cadre deployment.”

“Panels consisting of Democratic Alliance ministers should select Directors General in departments reporting to Democratic Alliance ministers and submit them to the President for approval, which cannot be reasonably withheld,” Zille’s letter stated.

Preferred Portfolios

The DA has expressed a preference for the following portfolios:

  • Economic Sectors, Investment, Employment, and Infrastructure Development
  • Social Protection, Community, and Human Development
  • Governance, State Capacity, and Institutional Development
  • Justice, Crime Prevention, and Security
  • International Cooperation, Trade, and Security

Conditions for Deputy President Position

The DA indicated willingness to forgo the Deputy President position if compensated with both a Minister in the Presidency and a Deputy Minister of Finance. The DA specified that the Deputy President will serve as the Leader of Government Business and fully participate in policy development and monitoring responsibilities of the Presidency, while the Deputy Minister of Finance will take part in developing the budget.

National Unity Government: Confirmation and Response

DA’s Richard Newton confirmed the letter’s authenticity and mentioned that the parties had already addressed some of the demands, though he did not specify which ones.

Responding to the DA’s demands, the ANC described them as outlandish and outrageous, asserting that no single party can dominate the GNU. “Negotiating through leaking demands to the media is an act of bad faith and this practice will not help the cause of any party. It is only the President who has the final say on the appointment of his Cabinet. The GNU cannot be held to ransom by any single party,” the ANC stated.

National Unity Government: Delays in Cabinet Announcement

The ongoing delays in announcing the cabinet continue to affect the formation of the government. The ANC emphasized the need for a timely establishment of the government to serve the people effectively. The party confirmed that Phase 2 of establishing the GNU is underway, with the anticipated announcement of cabinet positions by President Ramaphosa drawing near. Ramaphosa was inaugurated as president last week at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Formation of the GNU

The ANC, in power for the past 30 years, turned to the GNU after losing its more than 50% majority in parliament, securing just 45% of the national vote in the 2024 elections. So far, ten parties, including the ANC, DA, IFP, PA, FF+, UDM, RISE Mzansi, Al Jamah, PAC, and GOOD, have joined to form part of the GNU. Together, these parties represent over 70% (287) of the 400 seats in the National Assembly. However, with more smaller parties joining the GNU, discussions about forming a coalition without the DA have gained traction on social media.

The ANC reiterated its commitment to working with all parties involved in the GNU.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *