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‘Unprecedented’ government of national unity to roll up its sleeves

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially announced his new Cabinet, marking the beginning of South Africa’s seventh administration under what he has termed an “unprecedented” government of national unity.

President Cyril Ramaphosa called on all South Africans to support the government of national unity as it begins its work. File picture

‘PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has officially announced his new Cabinet, marking the beginning of South Africa’s seventh administration under what he has termed an “unprecedented” government of national unity (GNU).

The announcement came on Sunday evening, approximately a month after the national and provincial elections held on May 29.

Addressing the nation from the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Ramaphosa outlined the priorities of the incoming government.

“The incoming government will prioritise rapid, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and the creation of a more just society by tackling poverty and inequality,” said Ramaphosa.

The recent general election results did not produce an outright majority winner, necessitating collaboration among various political leaders to form a government, reminiscent of the coalition-building seen at the dawn of democracy in 1994.

In a historic move, 11 political formations have come together, signing a Statement of Intent to collaborate in forming a GNU. This coalition reflects a broad spectrum of representatives from these diverse parties, aimed at fostering unity and addressing the nation’s pressing challenges collectively.

“The establishment of the government of national unity in its current form is unprecedented in the history of our democracy. We have had to consider how to form the new government in a manner that advances the national interest, gives due consideration to the outcome of the election and makes use of the respective capabilities within each of the parties.

“We have had to consider not only the immediate needs of the country. We have also had to consider the stability, effectiveness and durability of the government we are establishing,” Ramaphosa said.

SERVING ALL SOUTH AFRICANS

With ministers and deputy ministers now hailing from a multitude of parties, Ramaphosa assured the nation that these appointees would serve all South Africans, not just those who voted for them.

“These men and women we have appointed to the executive are drawn from all corners of our country. They reflect the diversity of our nation. They have a responsibility to work together to serve the people as a whole,” the president stated.

He emphasised that none of the National Executive members have been appointed to serve the interests of any specific constituency, party or section of society.

STRENGTHENING DEMOCRACY

Addressing concerns about the time taken to form a Cabinet, Ramaphosa reassured South Africans by noting that other countries have taken even longer to achieve the same goal.

“[Many] people have pointed to the experiences of other countries that have a far longer history of democracy, where the formation of multi-party governments have sometimes taken several months.

“As a relatively young democracy, we should be proud that we have moved to establish a government comprised of eleven parties within such a short space of time.

“Through our discussions, we have been able to build consensus on the tasks of government. We have shown that there are no problems that are too difficult or too intractable that they cannot be solved through dialogue,” Ramaphosa emphasised.

NATIONAL DIALOGUE

With the Cabinet now announced, Ramaphosa said that the incoming GNU and other formations plan to convene a National Dialogue in the “spirit of partnership and collaboration.”

“Through this 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.”

He called on all South Africans to participate in the National Dialogue and support the GNU as it begins its work.

“As the leaders of political parties, as ministers and deputy ministers, as public representatives, we understand and accept the responsibility that we bear. We have all been called upon to serve the people of this country, and we will do so to the utmost of our ability,” Ramaphosa concluded.

Source: SAnews.gov.za

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