IFP Press Conference to Provide an Update on the Government of National Unity

Jun 28, 2024 | Press Releases

Statement By
The Hon. Mr Velenkosini Hlabisa MP
President of the Inkatha Freedom Party

Ladies and gentlemen of the media –

For the past 9 days, since the inauguration of the President of the Republic, all the people of South Africa, the continent of Africa and the international community have anxiously awaited the President’s announcement of Cabinet.

At this point, with speculation rife on what might or might not transpire, it is important to the IFP that we keep the nation informed of where we as the Party stand.

It was expected, of course, that the President’s announcement would not be made as swiftly as usual, for this Cabinet is not a Cabinet under majority rule, but must reflect a Government of National Unity. With ten parties already signatory to the Statement of Intent of the GNU, the complexities of forming a Cabinet are manifold.

The IFP has been part of these discussions from the very start. Following intense negotiations with the ANC and the DA, we announced our decision to join a Government of National Unity on 12 June 2024. Three days later, we signed the Statement of Intent, agreeing on the broad principles of how the GNU would function and where its focus would lie.

We were subsequently engaged in the actual formation of the GNU, holding discussions with the ANC and the DA. From the outset, the IFP has maintained that those discussions should be respected and given space to pave the way forward.

So when alarmist reports began to emerge of a potential stalemate between the ANC and the DA, the IFP was not immediately concerned. There was, as far as we could see, no crisis. We understood that there will be necessary teething problems in the formation of a Government of National Unity.

Now, however, like all South Africans, the IFP is growing concerned.

Our concern is for a country that is eager to move forward. The work of governance must begin. We cannot remain in a holding pattern, when there is so much to be done.

It is essential that the President, as the Constitution allows him, be able to reach the stage of announcing the new Cabinet. The IFP is thus calling on the ANC, the DA, and any other Party, to conclude the outstanding issues between them without further delay.

On the part of the IFP, we are ready to serve. We accept the President’s ultimate prerogative to make his appointments as he sees fit. I have full confidence that the leader of the ANC is deliberating with the best interests of our country in mind. And I have no doubt that the leader of the DA is doing the same.

Obviously, in all our minds, certain ministries take precedence over others, on the basis of what we seek to achieve for South Africa. But there is no position more important than the good of the country as a whole. Beyond ministries there is South Africa and its people who must not be at the stalemate for a longer time.

Agreement must be reached on a win-win that enables South Africa to move forward. In the service of our country, it is necessary for us all to put our own interests aside, electing rather to serve the common good. And what is good for our country at this critical juncture, is to move forward with the work of governance.

The IFP remains committed to the Government of National Unity, and we stand ready to play our part in the service of the nation.

With regards to the Government of Provincial Unity led by the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal, I must express our ongoing commitment to working in partnership for the good of the Province. Already we have achieved great work. I must thank our leadership for the way that we hit the ground running, ensuring that there are no delays in serving the people.

I am confident that we have an excellent team in KwaZulu-Natal. We welcome the most recent addition to this team, with the election of His Worship Councillor Michael Khumalo as Mayor of the Zululand District Municipality. Councillor Khumalo has vast experience and has been in unbroken service as a Councillor since 1995. With almost three decades of service under his belt, the Mayor is poised to deliver.

We have noted issues of concern raised by the NFP, and we will engage the NFP’s leadership to find common ground.

It is in the IFP’s nature to mediate where there is disagreement, to overcome challenges, and to create consensus. We will play this role wherever we are asked to do so, for we believe in serving the greater good.

As we committed to do, we are putting South Africa first.

I thank you.

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