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DA still willing to negotiate with ANC despite bickering

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says its door remains open to further negotiation when the African National Congress (ANC) is genuinely committed to treating them as a party of the same size as them. The two parties have almost the same seats in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. 

This comes as negotiations between the two parties were deadlocked over positions in the province’s executive council. As a result, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi had to postpone his announcement of the executive council members on Monday. 

DA GAUTENG EXPLAINS WHY NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE ANC ARE DEADLOCKED 

DA Gauteng leader Solly Msimanga and the  Federal chairperson Helen Zille held a media briefing on Tuesday to provide an update on the negotiations. 

The DA revealed that the ANC has been prepared to offer it a maximum of three out of ten Cabinet seats without telling them how many seats they intend to take for themselves and how many they propose to offer to other parties.

The party said this approach was not conducive to building an atmosphere of trust and wanted clarity on these issues.

During the briefing, Zille revealed that the  ANC conceded that they had intended to allocate three seats to the DA and seven to themselves out of a cabinet of 11 (including the ANC Premier). 

Zille said this division needs to meet the requirements set out in Clause 16 of the Declaration of Intent, given that the DA comprises 45% and the ANC 55% of the Government of Provincial Unity (GPU). It also excluded the IFP, which has been part of the national agreement from the start. 

“We stated that this intention did not meet the requirement of good faith to the original signatories of the GNU. The ANC’s position also illustrated that their refusal to discuss with us which other parties they wished to include was a smokescreen to hide the fact that they were planning to allocate a full seven to themselves while leaving us with three.

“Allocating more than double the number of executive positions to the ANC compared to the DA does not reflect the election outcome, nor is it broadly proportional, nor is it inclusive,” Zille said. 

THE PARTIES MET AGAIN ON TUESDAY

During the briefing, Zille confirmed meeting with the ANC on Tuesday. 

She said the ANC offered to reduce the seven to six, retain the DA at three, and give the IFP or PA one. 

“We welcome the IFP’s possible inclusion but point out that this is still far short of Clause 16 of the National Statement of Intent requirements. We are prepared to enter the GPU in Gauteng as a power-sharing partnership to reflect the electorate’s will.

“We are not prepared to be co-opted by the ANC on their terms, acting as if it still has an overall majority. We cannot agree to be taken hostage in a Government of Provincial Unity,” she added. 

Lastly, regarding Committee Chairs in the Gauteng Legislature are concerned, Zille said the proposal was that the DA would take six (out of 17). 

“The DA was prepared to accept this allocation, despite a significant shortfall, based on the Executive reflecting the letter and spirit of the Declaration of Intent.” 

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