In a Shocking Twist, GNU Talks Back on Track After DA and ANC Clash Over Cabinet Posts

DA and ANC Unity Talks

The drama continues as the ANC and DA struggle to finalize the Government of National Unity (GNU). Friday’s talks between President Cyril Ramaphosa and DA leader John Steenhuisen sparked new developments, with the IFP urging both parties to hurry up and make decisions.

The Great Cabinet Shuffle

Clash Over Trade and Industry Ministry

President Cyril Ramaphosa and DA leader John Steenhuisen met on Friday afternoon after a heated disagreement over the critical trade and industry ministry. Ramaphosa’s decision to backtrack on giving this portfolio to the DA exposed underlying tensions between the parties.

New Offer on the Table

Late on Friday, a sense of calm returned as negotiations resumed. Ramaphosa proposed a new offer: the DA might receive the agriculture, land reform, and rural development ministry instead of tourism. The DA’s Fedex has yet to accept this latest offer, but it is expected to do so soon.

Internal Reactions

Some ANC leaders were not pleased with the new offer, expressing their concerns on internal WhatsApp groups, with one saying Ramaphosa was “giving them the land.”

IFP Calls for Speed

Hlabisa’s Concerns

IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa, who plays a key role in the GNU due to his party’s support in KwaZulu-Natal, urged the ANC and DA to speed up the process. He emphasized the need to avoid a “holding pattern” and allow the president to announce the new Cabinet as the Constitution permits.

No Crisis, Just Teething Problems

Despite the delays, Hlabisa remained optimistic, noting that there was no crisis and acknowledging the necessary “teething problems” in forming the GNU. However, he stressed the importance of reaching agreements promptly to avoid further delays.

The Impact of Delays: DA and ANC

Legislative Ripple Effect

IFP MP Narend Singh highlighted the ripple effect of the president’s failure to announce his Cabinet, impacting the legislative arm. Meetings about portfolio committees and other legislative matters have been delayed, causing a legislative lacuna.

Coalition Dynamics

Earlier this month, the IFP decided to join the GNU, forming a coalition government with the ANC, DA, and NFP in KwaZulu-Natal. Thami Ntuli has been sworn in as the premier of the province, and a provincial Cabinet has been formed.

The Return of the GNU

This coalition marks the return of a GNU in South Africa, reminiscent of the post-apartheid era when Nelson Mandela appointed FW de Klerk as deputy president and included ministers from the National Party and IFP. The IFP also co-governed with the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal from 1999 to 2004.


As negotiations continue, the IFP’s patience wears thin, calling for swift action to finalize the GNU. While some ministries hold more importance, Hlabisa emphasized that all positions are crucial for the nation’s progress. The country cannot remain in a stalemate, and all parties must prioritize service delivery over power struggles.

Stay tuned as the saga unfolds, and South Africa awaits the final composition of its new government.

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