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A political analyst: “The GNU has its work cut out for it”

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By Kouthar Sambo

Eyebrows were raised after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his new Cabinet on Sunday, 30 June (2024), which aimed for inclusivity of all the parties to the Government of National Unity (GNU).

Speaking on VOC’s PM Drive on Monday, a political analyst Dr Ebrahim Harvey, said this GNU has their work cut out.

“The African National Congress (ANC) has never lost a national election since 1994, so it’s a very new, daunting experience for ANC and there are huge challenges that this GNU will face,” said Harvey.

“The matter must not be perceived in abstraction, people were impatient about this year’s GNU and cabinet announcement because the country is sitting with the biggest cost of living and socio-economic crisis in the entire history of South Africa, not only post-Apartheid,” asserted Harvey.

The public’s impatience and restlessness around the current political sphere, explained Harvey, is a reflection of the depth and gravity of the crisis the country is in.

According to Harvey, the GNU has its “work cut out” for it because the major challenge is attributed to whether and how the entire process will impact the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) governance in the Western Cape.

“The DA will definitely be impacted, and the DA government has been on the question of having the powers around the deployment and police army around our national competence structure – so how this political dynamic will work out with a DA/ANC governance is the big question,” explained Harvey.

He added that the DA has much to answer since the party challenged cadre deployment, then, took the ANC to court and won a case that made a fundamental breakthrough against cadre deployment declared unconstitutional.

“Now they are in bed with ANC while making a huge noise about Deputy President of the ANC, Paul Mashatile, urging Ramaphosa to fire him and take action – all of this has now disappeared, and it’s amazing how that happens,” he remarked sarcastically.

“So what will happen to all the ANC cadre deployed over the past 20-30 years, and how is that going to be dealt with by this new government?” challenged Harvey.

For Harvey, there are deeper root causes around this current GNU that must be addressed. he further highlighted issues, to name a few, such as the policy framework, vision, common objectives, and much more.

“Ramaphosa is under immense pressure, and the private sector wanted this matter resolved through an ANC/DA coalition. The private sector did not want to see the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) anywhere close by,” stressed Harvey.

“The GNU will have very fierce opposition, I can tell you this now. The EFF’s Julius Malema’s last-minute appeal to ditch the DA was rejected by Ramaphosa, and this will leave a bitter taste in the mouth of the EFF, which will result in a combustible opposition,” predicted Harvey.

Meanwhile, the political party Al Jama-ah announced the swearing-in of its second member of Parliament, Advocate Shameemah Salie, who was sworn in on Monday in the Speaker’s Boardroom at Parliament.

This comes as the party claimed to have experienced some “internal challenges” when it initially advocated for the second candidate, Councillor Imraan Ismail Moosa, to be sworn in.

This is still a developing story. Stay tuned to VOC’s PM Drive show on Tuesday as VOC News breaks further developments on this.

Photo: ParliamentofRSA/X

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