South Africa's GNU now has five parties, ANC says

17 June 2024 - 15:36 By Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo
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GOOD party leader Patricia de Lille. File photo.
GOOD party leader Patricia de Lille. File photo.
Image: Eugene Coetzee

South Africa's new government of national unity (GNU) has five parties in it so far, representing more than two thirds of the seats in the National Assembly, and talks with other parties are ongoing, the ANC said on Monday.

After last month's election, the ANC was forced to forge alliances with other parties after failing to win a parliamentary majority for the first time since the 1994 election that marked the end of apartheid.

ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa was re-elected as South Africa's president by parliament on Friday, as his party drew support from its largest rival, the DA, as well as two smaller parties — the IFP and Patriotic Alliance.

The ANC said another smaller party, GOOD, also signed up to be part of the GNU.

This collective represents 273 seats in the assembly, or 68%.

The assembly has 400 seats. The ANC won 159 seats, the DA 87, the IFP 17, the PA nine and GOOD a single seat.

The ANC said the GNU would ensure representation in government for all participating parties and would make decisions by consensus.

Among its priorities, the GNU is to focus on rapid, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, promotion of fixed capital investment, job creation, land reform and infrastructure development.

“The president will exercise the prerogative to appoint the cabinet, in consultation with leaders of GNU parties, adhering to existing protocols on government decision-making and budgeting,” the ANC said, adding it was still in discussions with more parties to join the government.

The EFF, which has 39 seats, has said it will not be part of a government that includes the DA or the FF Plus.

The MK Party led by former president Jacob Zuma is also not part of the GNU.

With 58 seats in the assembly, it has said it will join an alliance of smaller opposition parties called the “Progressive Caucus”, which includes the EFF and the UDM.

This alliance will be the official opposition to the GNU.

“With populist parties choosing to reject the GNU and the ANC's bigger partners in the governing coalition centre-leaning and favouring more liberal economic policies, we think the GNU opens the possibility for more growth-friendly structural reforms and prudent macroeconomic policy choices,” HSBC economist David Faulkner said in a note.

“But the GNU could also face ideological divisions and worsen fractures in the ANC, factors that could make establishing a stable policy framework difficult.”


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