DA Outraged by Ramaphosa’s Backtracking on Cabinet Offer

Cabinet Offer

Changes in Cabinet Offer Spark Outrage

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is outraged by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s sudden change in a Cabinet offer. Initially, Ramaphosa had offered the ministerial position of trade, industry, and competition (DTIC) to the DA. However, on Wednesday night, he replaced this with the minister of tourism.

Original Agreement and Alterations

Initial Offer

John Steenhuisen, the DA leader, had earlier agreed to Ramaphosa’s offer of six ministries, including DTIC, and seven deputy minister positions.

Revised Offer

Ramaphosa’s revised offer now includes:

  • Six ministries (tourism replacing DTIC)
  • Six deputy minister positions (reduced from seven)

This alteration has angered the DA leadership and negotiating team. News24 reports that there is “unanimity” in the DA that Ramaphosa’s revised offer is “not acceptable”.

Importance of the DTIC Portfolio

The Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition (DTIC) is considered a key portfolio in the economic cluster. It has significant impact on economic policy and development. In contrast, the Department of Tourism, while important for job creation, does not have the same level of influence on economic policy.

DA’s Response to the Revised Offer

The DA plans to inform President Ramaphosa that its acceptance of his Tuesday offer represents the party’s “full and final settlement”. The DA will not engage in further compromises. The initial offer included:

  • Six ministries (including DTIC)
  • Seven deputy ministries

Background of the Agreement

Support for Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa was elected president two weeks ago with the support of DA MPs. The DA had agreed to support the ANC’s candidates for Speaker in Parliament and Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces. Additionally, the DA backed the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal against the IFP’s proposal for fewer seats in the provincial executive.

Negotiation Concessions

During Cabinet position negotiations, the DA agreed not to pursue the positions of deputy president or a minister in the Presidency. They finally settled on six Cabinet positions instead of the eight they initially wanted.

Concerns About ANC’s Negotiation Tactics

There is consensus within the DA that they have adhered to the letter and spirit of the statement of intent signed by Helen Zille, the DA’s federal chairperson, and Fikile Mbalula, the ANC’s secretary general. However, the DA feels that the ANC is not negotiating in good faith.

Inclusion of Other Parties

The ANC intends to include the IFP, PA, PAC, and GOOD in the Cabinet. Despite this, the ANC will not have a majority in the National Assembly and will need support from other parties to pass legislation, including the budget. Ramaphosa will also be vulnerable to motions of no confidence.

Final Steps and Announcements

On Wednesday, the ANC stated that there was an agreement between the ANC and the DA, and that the revised offer to the DA was a final “take it or leave it” proposition. Ramaphosa and the ANC aim to announce the final composition of the Cabinet as soon as possible.

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