Home Opinion and Features A new era of partnership and national unity – Ramaphosa

A new era of partnership and national unity – Ramaphosa


FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK: President Cyril Ramaphosa has used his weekly newsletter as a rallying call for all South Africans to work even closer together to build a country for all.

DEAR Fellow South African,

In the coming days, the ministers and deputy ministers of the new Government of National Unity will be sworn in. This is a significant moment in our country’s democracy.

We have made good on our promise to the South African people to work together as political parties for the good of the country, and to deliver a government that will be united in action and purpose.

This provides a firm basis for greater stability, coherence and a focus on implementation.

Even in some of the world’s most established democracies, the formation of multi-party governments is often protracted and fraught with challenges. That we have reached this pivotal point just over four weeks since the election results were announced is a credit to our constitutional order. It is also testament to the authentic, collaborative spirit that has underpinned the negotiations over the past few weeks.

This is the first time in South Africa’s history that such a broad range of parties, from across the political spectrum, will constitute a government. In mandating us to form a government that serves all, the South African people have a rightful expectation that the seventh administration begins its work as soon as possible.

South Africans appreciate that a GNU is the best way to take our country forward. As political leaders, we must prove ourselves worthy of the trust our citizens have placed in this government.

The partnership between the GNU parties is guided by a Statement of Intent, which outlines fundamental principles and a minimum programme of priorities.

All the parties have made a commitment to respect the constitution and to promote a accountable and transparent governance, evidence-based policy and decision-making, the professionalisation of the public service, integrity and good governance.

The incoming government will prioritise rapid, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and the creation of a more just society by tackling poverty and inequality. It will continue the economic reforms that are under way in key industries like electricity, telecommunication, water and transport.

The new administration will build on the progress that has already been made in the drive for greater investment in infrastructure and an improved environment for business.

Guided by the Statement of Intent, the GNU will safeguard the rights of workers and ensure there is adequate social protect for the poor and vulnerable. The government will invest in South Africa’s people through quality education and health care. It will work to build state capacity, address crime and corruption and strengthen social cohesion. The administration will pursue a foreign policy based on human rights, solidarity and peace.

While the ministers and deputy ministers who make up the National Executive come from different parties, they will be expected to serve the people as a whole. They will be expected to implement a shared mandate and a common programme of action.

The new government will soon hold its first lekgotla to collectively develop the programme of government for the next five years. This will be outlined in greater detail in the Opening of Parliament Address to be delivered in just over two weeks’ time.

In the spirit of partnership and collaboration, the incoming government will work together with other formations to convene a National Dialogue. All parties, civil society groups, labour, business and other stakeholders will be invited to work together to address the critical challenges facing the nation.

We are determined that the principles and programme that underpin the Government of National Unity extends beyond the institutions of the state.

This is an opportunity for all South Africans to work together more closely and with greater purpose to ensure that we build a South Africa for all.

With best regards,

Cyril Ramaphosa

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