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Thursday, 04 July 2024 10:59

DA withdraws its candidate for Deputy Speaker of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Democratic Alliance (DA) says the Deputy Speaker of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature and member of the DA, Refiloe Ntsekhe, will resign from her position after the party failed to form part of the Executive of the Gauteng Government of Provincial Unity (GPU).

The talks between the DA and African National Congress (ANC) have reached a deadlock as the two parties struggled to reach an agreement to co-govern South Africa's economic hub, which contributes 33% to the country's GDP.

However Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has announced members of his executive council on Wednesday evening despite the party failing to reach an agreement with the DA.

This means that in the 80-seat Gauteng provincial legislature, the political parties in government hold only 33 seats, which is far from an outright majority.

Gauteng's seventh administration cabinet excludes the DA, which holds 22 seats in the legislature, the EFF (11 seats), uMkhonto Wesizwe (eight), ActionSA (three), Freedom Front Plus (two) and Build One SA and the African Christian Democratic Party (one each). The ANC has 28 seats.

DA provincial leader Solly Msimanga said for Ntsekhe to remain the Deputy Speaker, without other party members holding key positions means she won't get the necessary support in the legislature.

Msimanga said, the party will make announcement on Ntsekhe's resignation.

"She will be resigning because her being in that position is not serving what we actually envisioned. We were looking at playing a meaningful role in the executive with a number of positions and also in the legislature where her position would have complemented that of the chair of chairs plus other oversight committee chairpersons," said Msimanga.

Msimanga said the positions created for the IFP, Patriotic Alliance and Rise Mzansi were actually "diluted" and ineffective in service delivery.

He said the DA will be taking its seat as the official opposition in the Gauteng Legislature.

"We will be announcing our shadow cabinet shortly and we will be setting out how our portfolio members are going to ensure that we keep the executive to account.

"We will work very hard to also lobby other political parties that are in opposition to support us," said Msimanga.

Meanwhile ActionSA Gauteng leader Funzi Ngobeni said Gauteng residents should expect little from the new administration.

"It has clearly not hit home for [Lesufi] that his return as Gauteng premier does not represent the will of residents. He would do well to study the 2024 provincial election results, which were a striking rebuke of a premier whose first term was marked by failure, a series of failed gimmicks and empty promises, prompting residents to vote to remove him from office.

"Gauteng residents should not hold their breath for any real change in the provincial government's comical approach to governance, which prioritises PR stunts over real practical solutions and political patronage over the deployment of skilled professionals to deliver services for residents," Ngobeni said.