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Portfolio bickering bogs down Gauteng government 

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By Daanyaal Matthews 

The Gauteng province has been hindered as discussions between the ANC and the DA continue, with the present contention revolving around the allocation of portfolios, with the DA disconcerted by the amount of portfolios offered, arguing that the ministerial positions in the province should be reflective of the elections. 

These contentions are rather unusual for the GNU on a provincial level, given that the DA and ANC  had previously managed in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province to settle on an appropriate agreement with the assistance of the IFP to ensure proper governance; however, the Gauteng province has been notoriously known for haphazard changes due to constant infighting between coalition partners. 

The notoriety of Gauteng also extends to its infrastructure with the province, according to former Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements and Infrastructure Development Lebogang Maile, requiring R20 billion to merely fix hostels, which epitomises the need of political officials to expedite the quarrels over portfolio positions.  

This sentiment was echoed by Dr. Levy Ndou, political analyst and lecturer at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), who argued the tussle between the ANC and DA is merely a battle for executive positions in the upper echelons of the province to the dissatisfaction of ordinary citizens and the larger nation as Gauteng operates as the economic hub of the Republic. 

“Gauteng is the only province that has not finalised its work in terms of governance. Gauteng is the economic hub of the Republic of South Africa, and when things are not going right in that province, everybody is looking at that province, and people want to see that province work,” said Ndou. 

The constant marker of dissatisfaction has been utterances in the public sphere, with the rhetoric of both parties being made public via social media, a move that has been heavily criticised by pundits but additionally by the ANC during discussions on portfolios in the national cabinet. 

For Dr. Ndou, these battles of words on social media raise queries on sustainable governance within the region moving ahead, stating: 

“I also do not expect two big political parties not to be able to agree, but to have all the energy to go out to the public and explain themselves to the public rather than agree behind closed doors, because my sense is that when you’ve got this kind of situation happening between these two big parties, the biggest question would be, would they be able to work together after the appointment of the executive members of council?” questioned Ndou. 

Image: Twitter@SadtuNational


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