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Steenhuisen says DA will occupy key Cabinet positions to best serve SA

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Attending President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration in Pretoria, DA leader John Steenhuisen said his party would like to occupy key positions in Cabinet where its members can assist the government of national unity to achieve its goals.

DA leader John Steenhuisen is attending the inauguration of President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. File picture: Henk Kruger, Independent Newspapers

The leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), John Steenhuisen, said on Wednesday that while it is premature to fixate on Cabinet appointments, including who will be deputy president, his party would like to make a meaningful contribution in the seventh administration.

Speculation has been rife that Steenhuisen or another DA senior official might take up the deputy president position, but the DA leader told broadcaster Newzroom Afrika that it is a bit early to discuss positions.

“I think it is far too premature to speak about those things. Once the president has been inaugurated today, we will start the discussions around the composition of the Cabinet and how that would look like.

“First, it is not really about positions but it is about being in areas where we can serve and deliver on our manifesto. We said in our manifesto how we would rescue South Africa. These are key things that have to be done, to get off this high unemployment, low growth, high debt trajectory onto one of hope, prosperity, opportunity, inclusiveness for more South Africans,” Steenhuisen said at the Union Buildings in Pretoria where he is attending Ramaphosa’s inauguration.

“I think those are the areas we would like to focus on.”

He said the DA representatives should occupy strategic positions in Cabinet where they can best serve South Africans.

“I think the DA brings with it enormous experience in governing at a local and provincial level. I think we would like to focus on some key areas, things like infrastructure, the economy, how we lift people out of poverty, how we create jobs, and looking at drivers for all instances,” said Steenhuisen.

“We would like to fit into positions there, where we can assist this government of national unity to achieve the goals.”

Numerous heads of state and governments, opposition party leaders and diplomats are at the Union Buildings for the grand inauguration as Ramaphosa begins his second term.

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJoints) said it has rolled out a water-tight, integrated plan focusing on venue security, route, transport, traffic control, sea, land, airport, border, accommodation security as well as crowd management capabilities.

The plan, which incorporates various government departments led by the SA Police Service (SAPS), SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and the State Security Agency (SSA), is currently being implemented in all corners of the Gauteng province, according to SAPS spokesperson SA Brigadier Athlenda Mathe.

Around 18 heads of state and former leaders of various countries are in South Africa for the mega festivities. Regional leaders and close allies of South Africa including Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa and President Nangolo Mbumba of Namibia arrived in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Ramaphosa’s first presidential inauguration, in May 2019, was held at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria and was officiated by the then chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

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