Home South African Talks with DA ‘difficult, at times annoying’ – Lesufi

Talks with DA ‘difficult, at times annoying’ – Lesufi

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According to Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, talks with the DA were “annoying and difficult, therefore delaying a new provincial executive”.

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi said parties have requested an extension of time. Picture: Timothy Bernard, Independent Newspapers.

GAUTENG Premier Panyaza Lesufi was expected to announce his awaited new provincial executive on Sunday, but parties requested an extension until negotiations were concluded.

According to Lesufi, during an interview on eNCA on Sunday night, the talks with the DA were “annoying and difficult, therefore delaying a new provincial executive”.

“Negotiations are extremely difficult, sometimes annoying but frank and open… We can resolve the issue,” said Lesufi.

He denied speculations that he received an order from President Cyril Ramaphosa to include the DA in his provincial cabinet, adhering to the marriage of the ANC, DA and IFP on a national basis.

This was after an insider has stated that Ramaphosa had ordered Lesufi to include the DA in the executive council. But, the not-so-new premier refused to give the DA four positions it requested, consenting to only three.

“It is not true. We cannot take decisions without consulting with the national leadership and secretary-general. It is better to clear matters now before establishing a new cabinet,” said Lesufi.

While 10 parties have joined the national multiparty government, broad coalitions are expected to occur in the provincial legislatures. Thus, Lesufi indicated there are still talks on whether to sign a Provincial Statement of Intent or continue with the government of national unity (GNU), because some issues nationally are irrelevant to the provincial structure.

“There are new parties that have signed the GNU, we cannot leave them behind. We have concluded discussions with FF Plus, RISE Mzansi, IFP, the ACDP, DA and PA. We have not won the elections, but in reality we are the largest supported party in Gauteng and we cannot be arrogant and difficult, because voters showed us we must work together. There is no outright winner,” said Lesufi.

The ANC secured only 34.76% of votes provincially, with the DA 27.44%.

Asked whether the ANC can govern the province without the DA’s vote, Lesufi said: “It is not ideal to do without the DA, the more the merrier. We must represent everyone that wants to be part of the GNU.”

He also hinted that small parties are targeting MEC positions, which is derailing his cabinet appointments, but the doors remain open for parties that are yet to join the provincial multiparty government.

“We want to accommodate everyone. Whoever wants to be part of the executive or committee is welcome. There are parties that got majority support, others got minimal support, so we must be inclusive,” said Lesufi.

But ActionSA bluntly refused to be part of the GPU, instead choosing to be on the opposition benches.

Negotiations may hopefully be concluded by the end of the week, if not after 72 hours, with a new executive council that is inclusive of young people and women, Lesufi said.

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