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Sunday, 30 June 2024 11:35

Deal struck between ANC,DA includes Agriculture portfolio iro withdrawn DTIC.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA) are close to reaching a deal on who gets which cabinet posts, which is the last hurdle to setting up an inclusive cabinet.

Fullview learnt that the DA has now been offered the Agriculture and Rural Development portfolio in respect of the 'withdrawn' Trade and Industry offer, which the party's negotiators are said to be in favour of.

Negotiations between the two parties took a turn for the worse after president Cyril Ramaphosa altered the terms of an earlier offer to the DA on Wednesday night, which angered the DA's leadership which threatened to walk away from the GNU unless Ramaphosa sticks to his original offer.

It resulted both parties having reached a stalemate over the Trade and Industry portfolio.

The DA has been offered six cabinet portfolios: Home Affairs; Basic Education; Public Works and Infrastructure; Communications and Digital Technologies; and Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, now Agriculture and Rural Development.

Combined with six deputy minister positions in key portfolios like Finance, the DTIC and Energy, among others, this would give the DA significant influence in major economic clusters.

The ANC was forced to join forces with the DA and other parties in a government of national unity, after getting fewer than half the votes for the first time in an election on May 29.

The political parties that signed Government of National Unity (GNU) statement of intent, led by the ANC, included 10 parties, which gives the grouping 287 out of 400 seats, which accounts for 71.75% of the total.

The last parties to join the bloc—the UDM, Al Jama-ah, and the PAC—were previously part of the MK-led "progressive bloc." They publicly stated that their intention behind joining the GNU was to weaken the DA and other parties within the government formation.

This progressive bloc is now left with MK, the EFF and the African Transformations Movement (ATM) and United Africans Transformation (UAT).

Notably, these parties have a combined 113 seats. If the ANC were to switch allegiances, the bloc would rise to 272 (68%), which is more than the supermajority (two-thirds) needed to make sweeping changes, including changing the country's Constitution. Other parties would also undoubtedly follow the ANC to a new bloc.

However the EFF said on Saturday they were keen to co-govern with the ANC, only if the DA and FF Plus were kept out of this coalition group.

In the lengthy letter, the EFF proposes a new agreement or Statement of Intent between the EFF and ANC instead of the ANC's Statement of Intent agreed to by the GNU partners.

This new agreement would have to, amongst others, include the principles of redress and equality.

The EFF further adds that it is willing to participate in any executive as long as the DA and FF Plus are not included.

In addition, the party also affirms the principle that the President and Premiers have the prerogative to determine the composition of the executive after consultation with the leadership of the EFF.

However, it found it key to express the party's desire to be represented in all the clusters of national government, as ministers or deputies as well as roles in the legislatures.

This letter comes amid ongoing talks and the imminent announcement of the next executive by Ramaphosa.

According to Bloomberg, any agreement on forming a cabinet will be welcomed by investors who anticipate the combination of the ANC under Ramaphosa and the centrist DA will lead to an acceleration of economic reforms needed to address the nation's energy crisis, fix its collapsing ports and railways, and reduce crime and corruption.

Other market analysts and finance experts have pointed to an ANC-DA GNU as the best bet for South Africa to see real change and economic growth.