DA in Gauteng open to talks despite ANC’s non-adherence to Statement of Intent

Issued by Helen Zille and Solly Msimanga –
03 Jul 2024 in News

Despite some progress in negotiations today, the DA and ANC have not yet reached agreement on the composition of a government for Gauteng on the basis of the National Statement of Intent, signed on June 14.

Setting out the DA’s approach to constituting a Government of Provincial Unity, the DA Provincial Leader, Solly Msimanga, proposed an approach to implementing the Statement of Intent in the Gauteng context. He wrote the letter on June 22, 2024.

He has received an acknowledgement of receipt but no reply to his letter (which we will distribute).

Solly’s letter refers to the crucial clauses in the Statement of Intent, including:

  • Clause 16, which defines the principles of proportionality, inclusiveness, and respecting the will of the voters (outcome of the election) in the setting up of a government; and
  • Clause 19, which contains a definition of the principle of “Sufficient Consensus” in terms of which decisions in government will be taken.

Till now, the ANC has been prepared to offer the DA a maximum of 3 out of 10 Cabinet seats, without telling us how many seats they intend to take for themselves, and how many they propose to offer to other parties.

This approach was not conducive to building an atmosphere of trust. We wanted clarity on these issues.

The ANC today conceded that they had intended to allocate 3 seats to the DA, and 7 to themselves, out of a cabinet of 11 (including the ANC Premier). This division falls far short of the requirements set out in Clause 16 of the Declaration of Intent, given that the DA comprises 45% and the ANC 55% of the GPU.

It also excluded the IFP that has been part of the national agreement from the start. We stated that this intention did not meet the requirement of good faith to the original signatories of the GNU.

The ANC’s position also illustrated that their refusal to discuss with us which other parties they wished to include, was a smokescreen to hide the fact that they were planning to allocate a full seven to themselves, while leaving us with three.

Allocating more than double the number of executive positions to the ANC compared to the DA, does not reflect the election outcome, nor is it broadly proportional, nor is it inclusive.

At the discussions today the ANC offered to reduce the seven to six, retain the DA at three and giving the IFP or PA one. We welcome the IFP’s possible inclusion, but point out that this is still far short of the requirements of Clause 16 of the national Statement of Intent.

We are prepared to enter the GPU in Gauteng as a power-sharing partnership, to reflect the will of the electorate.

We are not prepared to be co-opted by the ANC on their own terms, acting as if it still has an overall majority. We cannot agree to be taken hostage in a Government of Provincial Unity.

As far as Committee Chairs in the Gauteng Legislature is concerned: The proposal was that the DA would take 6 (out of a total of 17). The DA was prepared to accept this allocation, despite a significant shortfall, on the basis of the Executive reflecting the letter and spirit of the Declaration of Intent.

Our door remains open to further negotiation when the ANC is genuinely committed to treating us as a party that is almost the same size as they are in Gauteng. We will, again, come to the table in an atmosphere of mutual respect and negotiate in good faith.

There is still work to do: We must work through the Statement of Intent to ensure that we have the same understanding. And we must reach an agreement for the genuine sharing of power so that we can properly serve the voters of Gauteng as the electorate intended.