South Africa’s President Announces Govt Of National Unity Cabinet

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South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday named a new Cabinet which includes the opposition DA and nine other political parties to form a government of national unity.

The African National Congress, the former main opposition party, and nine other parties agreed on the makeup of a coalition government of South Africa’s seventh administration following weeks of haggling.

Ramaphosa’s announcement of his new, “unprecedented” multi-party Cabinet came a month after the ANC lost its 30-year political dominance of Africa’s most industrialized country in a national election, forcing it to seek coalition partners.

The ANC’s share of the vote slumped to 40% in the May 29 vote and it lost its parliamentary majority for the first time since it came to power at the end of the apartheid system of white minority rule in 1994.

Ramaphosa’s party retained the largest share of ministerial positions as he appointed ANC officials to 20 of the 32 Cabinet minister roles in the new coalition.

But there were six ministers from the Democratic Alliance, once the main opposition and the fiercest critic of the ANC, and Ramaphosa shared the remaining ministerial posts among some of the smaller parties. The DA won the second-largest share of the vote with 21%.

Others have also joined what the ANC called a government of national unity that is open to any of the 18 parties represented in Parliament. Some have refused to take part.

“We have shown that there are no problems that are too difficult or too intractable that they cannot be solved through dialogue,” Ramaphosa said, noting the negotiations had been complex.

In some of his most significant Cabinet decisions, Ramaphosa reappointed Paul Mashatile of the ANC to continue as his deputy president.

Ramaphosa also appointed Parks Tau of the ANC as the minister of trade and industry, an important portfolio that the DA was seeking and was at the heart of some of the tensions between the two parties.

DA leader Steenhuisen was appointed minister of agriculture, while Ramaphosa also brought the leaders of four other political parties into his Cabinet as new ministers.

“We have had to ensure that all the parties are able to participate meaningfully in the national executive,” Ramaphosa said.