ANC condemns outrageous demands for Cabinet positions

Party says once Executive is in place ministers must act in interest of nation not party

ANC update on Phase 2 of the establishment of the Government of National Unity

24 June 2024

The African National Congress (ANC) notes with concern that some parties have been making outlandish and outrageous demands for specific Cabinet positions in the media. 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 people need a government to be established sooner, rather than later.

The African National Congress (ANC) confirms that since the announcement of the historic agreement between 10 South African political parties to form an ANC-led Government of National Unity (GNU) for the 7th democratic administration, Phase 2 of the establishment of the GNU is well underway with the highly anticipated announcement of Cabinet by President Cyril Ramaphosa drawing close.

The outcome of the 2024 National and Provincial Election made it clear that 30 years into democracy, South Africans want political parties to work together to solve the important challenges facing the country and improve the lives of our people.

The ANC, as the party that received the largest number of votes, after considering various options towards the formation of Government, resolved that the GNU model would best fit the national interest and took the initiative to engage all parties which won parliamentary seats towards the formation of a Government of National Unity.

Intense talks led by the ANC with all parties since the announcement of the elections results saw a total of 10 out of 18 parties joining the GNU initiative by the 22 June 2024:

The ten parties include the ANC (159), DA (87), IFP (17), PA (9), FF+ (6), UDM (3), RISE Mzansi (2), Al Jamah (2), PAC (1) and GOOD (1). Together, these parties represent an overwhelming majority of over 70% (287) of the 400 seats in the National Assembly.

During this first phase towards the formation of the ANC-led GNU, parties in Parliament also worked together to elect the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, President as well as the Chairperson of the NCOP.

Provincial Legislatures and Governments have been established in Limpopo, E Cape, North West, Free State, and Mpumalanga where the ANC has an outright majority, a government led by the ANC in N Cape, government led by the DA in the W Cape where it has an outright majority, and a Government of Provincial Unity led by the IFP in KZN.

The Premier, Speaker and Deputy Speaker have been elected in Gauteng and work is in progress to establish the Gauteng Government of Provincial Unity.

Towards the GNU Cabinet

The second phase of the process, to appoint the National Executive (Cabinet) in line with the Constitution is underway. This will be based on the following principles:

a) An inclusive approach taking in consideration electoral outcomes, the national interest, as well as national groups, gender, social sectors and related elements of representativity, and of course experience and competency with regards to governance and specific portfolios.

b) GNU cooperation includes both Parliament and the Executive. Parties to the GNU may be considered for assignment of responsibilities in the Legislature and/or in Cabinet.

c) Consultations with leaders of Parties included in the GNU by the President of the Republic is underway, based on the constitutional prerogative of the President.

d) The Constitution confers the executive authority of the Republic on the President as Head of State and Head of the National Executive. The President appoints Cabinet, assigns functions to Ministers and Ministers report to Cabinet, who operate as a collective. Once the GNU Cabinet is formed, Ministers act as members of Cabinet, responsible for their portfolios and collectively in the interest of the nation, not their parties or sectors.

The President will announce Cabinet in the coming days, based on the above principles.

Once Cabinet is formed, Parliament will then start its work to establish its structures, including portfolio committees and other structures of responsibility as prescribed by the Constitution.

It is the ANC's wish to see that these processes are not unnecessarily delayed, so that the 7th administration can get on with the urgent tasks of attending to the people's priorities - tackling unemployment, growing an inclusive economy, industrialization, investing in people, improving and expanding quality basic services, tackling crime and corruption, advancing nation-building and social cohesion, which are the issues that South Africans voted for.

Similarly, the all-inclusive National Dialogue remains an urgent priority, to get all sectors of society, and indeed our nation, involved in solutions to these most urgent challenges we face.

Let's do more, together.

Issued by Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri, National Spokesperson, ANC, 24 June 2024