Home South African Gauteng premier calls off cabinet announcement due to DA’s boycott

Gauteng premier calls off cabinet announcement due to DA’s boycott

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Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has called off the much-anticipated announcement of his government of provincial unity following reported stalled talks with the DA.

Panyaza Lesufi, the new premier of Gauteng, is sworn in along with other legislature members. Picture: Timothy Bernard, Independent Newspapers.

GAUTENG Premier Panyaza Lesufi has called off the much-anticipated announcement of his government of provincial unity following reported stalled talks with the DA.

On Monday, just minutes before Lesufi was due to make his announcement, the DA revealed that it would be boycotting the announcement after the ANC had decided to exclude it from the coalition.

Speaking during the media briefing by the ANC’s provincial executive council on Monday, Lebogang Maile indicated that Lesufi was ready to make his announcement but was prevented from doing so by the DA’s boycotting after the ANC failed to agree to terms with the DA.

He said due to failed talks with the DA, which he claimed continues to negotiate through the media, the announcement would have excluded any DA members as the agreement involved other parties that had agreed terms with the ANC.

“I must indicate that the premier was ready to make his announcement. There should be no confusion about that. However, we are now going to follow our leadership and will postpone the announcement today and no later than tomorrow, there will be a solution tomorrow as we are ready to hit the ground running.

“The premier was not going to announce the DA but the ANC has sealed and concluded a deal with other parties, but the DA chose to go in public to boycott the announcement. The ANC in Gauteng does not have a coalition with the DA. They are behaving as if we are in coalition with them, but our position is clear that we are leading the government of unity and we are inviting them, but they are behaving as if it is us and them. The current list does not have the DA but other parties,” said Maile.

The party’s provincial secretary, TK Nciza, told journalists that they have reached a deadlock with the DA more than once, adding that it remained the case.

Nciza said that Lesufi was ready to announce his provincial Cabinet, however, he was asked by the national leadership to halt the announcement.

The party provincial secretary said they were postponing the announcement, but no later than Tuesday.

“Every party in the legislature is in agreement with the ANC except for the DA. You can’t boycott something when you don’t have an agreement,” Nciza added.

Nciza said that the postponement of the announcement was to ensure that the ANC maintains stability in the province following protracted negotiations.

“It is still a moving target. Those who are negotiating through the media, are negotiating in bad faith. If the DA chooses to come back, they must understand that we are negotiating with other parties. We will not be bullied. We do not want to enter into negotiations in public.

“Our negotiations with the DA deadlocked and there was no agreement. However, with or without the DA, we will be making an announcement and the reason for the postponement is in the interest of provincial unity and stability,” Nciza said.

According to the Sowetan, the leader of the DA in Gauteng, Solly Msimang, said he had met with the ANC on Monday morning to discuss the finer details of their proposal, with Lesufi promising to return to him by 4pm but had failed to do so.

“The ANC has failed to come back to us. If they can make an announcement without prior engagement, the deal is off, as we only see in the media that the ANC would be announcing its provincial government,” said Msimanga.

ActionSA provincial chairperson Funzi Ngobeni expressed outrage at yet another “botched announcement” of the Gauteng provincial cabinet.

“While the ANC and DA tussle for positions, residents have once again been abandoned by both the DA’s Solly Msimanga and the ANC’s Panyaza Lesufi, who evidently appear more interested in jockeying for positions than in addressing the urgent service delivery challenges that continue to cripple Gauteng and leave residents on the back foot,” he said.

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