Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Responding to questions about whether the ongoing disputes over positions in Gauteng affect the national government’s decisions on portfolios, Gibson stated that it would not. He emphasized that the national government has established a clear tone and, if Mr. Lesufi acts unreasonably, the Democratic Alliance (DA) will oppose him, and President Ramaphosa will intervene.

The announcement of Lesufi’s provincial cabinet faced its second postponement on Monday night. This delay came after provincial leaders were instructed by Luthuli House to hold off on the announcement due to the ANC and DA in Gauteng failing to agree on posts in the formation of a government of provincial unity.

The ANC had proposed offering the DA three Member of the Executive Council (MEC) positions, but the DA declined, seeking four positions instead. The DA argued that, given their seat count, they should not settle for fewer positions. In the Gauteng provincial legislature, the ANC holds 28 seats (34% of the vote), while the DA has 22 seats (27% of the vote).

Gibson criticized Lesufi for attempting to take more than he is entitled to, stating, “The DA wants to make Gauteng work, Lesufi look good for a change and our own people to look good.” In an interview with Newzroom Afrika, Gibson accused Lesufi of being in denial about the electorate’s rejection of him and his party, reminding him that he was re-elected because of the DA’s support.

ANC Veterans League (ANCVL) member Snuki Zikalala also spoke on the issue, calling for a resolution. He emphasized that the agreement should align with national government directives regarding inter-party cooperation. Zikalala expressed his approval of ANC Secretary General Fikile Mbalula’s decision to intervene and urged both parties to finalize their discussions to allow government work to proceed.

The ongoing rift between the ANC and the DA in Gauteng may pave the way for an unlikely provincial agreement involving the ANC, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and the MK. However, the primary contention remains between the ANC and the DA over the allocation of MEC positions, with the ANC wanting to allocate three positions to the DA, which the DA has refused, insisting on four.

Gibson reiterated that Lesufi should avoid being greedy and adhere to fair distribution, aiming to foster effective governance in Gauteng. The conclusion of these negotiations remains crucial for the functionality of the provincial government and the broader political stability within the region.

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