Gauteng Premier Andrek Lesufi's Cabinet Faces Backlash Amidst Political Power Struggles


Gauteng Premier Andrek Lesufi's newly appointed cabinet has ignited a firestorm of controversy, particularly centering on the exclusion of the Democratic Alliance (DA). This decision emerges after intense Government of National Unity (GNU) discussions initially included the DA. In response, ActionSA has expressed sharp disapproval, pointing to the lineup as emblematic of empty promises and political gimmickry.

Background of GNU Talks

The Government of National Unity negotiations were aimed at fostering collaboration between the African National Congress (ANC) and the DA. However, these discussions have hit an impasse, predominantly due to deep-seated disagreements on key cabinet positions. The DA had been aiming for significant representation within the cabinet, particularly highlighting the importance of securing the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) portfolio.

The DTIC portfolio holds crucial responsibilities for economic development, including the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE). Recognizing the significance of this portfolio, the DA insisted on its control, arguing it as vital for fostering economic growth. However, the ANC backtracked on its initial concessions, leading to a deadlock.

ActionSA's Reaction and Criticisms

ActionSA's Reaction and Criticisms

ActionSA has been vocal in its response to the new cabinet appointments. Many within the party, and its supporters, interpret the composition as reflective of broader issues plaguing governmental functioning. According to ActionSA, the cabinet reshuffle appears to be nothing more than a collection of superficial changes, which fail to address the core needs and concerns of Gauteng's populace.

Party leaders argue that the exclusion of the DA, alongside the broader inefficacy in resolving key GNU issues, speaks to a wider problem. It's not just about specific individuals or positions, but a systemic issue of leadership and governance. The cabinet, as presently constituted, risks perpetuating a cycle of ineffective governance, underpinned by political posturing rather than substantive policy initiatives.

The Role of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC)

The DTIC portfolio, which has been a central point of contention, is particularly significant in the Gauteng region. This department is tasked with a variety of critical functions aimed at economic stimulation. For instance, it plays a pivotal role in the promotion of SMEs, which are often seen as the backbone of a thriving economy. Additionally, the DTIC is responsible for the implementation and oversight of B-BBEE policies.

In Gauteng’s diverse economic landscape, the DTIC's outcomes can have far-reaching implications. From fostering inclusive growth to ensuring equitable economic opportunities, the department's agenda can profoundly shape the province's economic trajectory. It's no wonder, then, that the DA has fiercely advocated for control over this portfolio. However, the ANC's reluctance to cede this influential position has led to a critical stalemate in the GNU discussions.

Calls for Resolution

Calls for Resolution

In light of these developments, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Velenkosini Hlabisa has called for an urgent resolution to the ongoing gridlock. He has urged all parties to address the outstanding issues and ensure the formation of a cohesive government that can effectively serve the needs of the people. Hlabisa’s appeal highlights the broader urgency of moving beyond partisan conflicts to focus on governance and public service.

While Hlabisa’s call is a step towards fostering dialogue, the complexities underlying the GNU talks cannot be easily disregarded. Issues of representation, policy direction, and power dynamics are deeply intertwined, making the path to resolution anything but straightforward. The challenge lies in reconciling these competing interests to form a government capable of enacting meaningful change.

The Broader Implications

The controversies surrounding Lesufi's cabinet have broader implications for political stability and governance in Gauteng. The exclusion of key political actors such as the DA from the GNU framework could lead to increased polarization and hamper collaborative efforts essential for effective governance. In an era where inclusive and cooperative governance is critically needed, such divisions risk undermining the very foundation of democratic leadership.

Moreover, the inability to settle on pivotal roles like that of the DTIC minister can result in policy paralysis, adversely affecting economic growth and social development. The need for clear and decisive economic leadership is more pressing than ever, especially in a province as economically significant as Gauteng. The prolonged political wrangling thus threatens to divert attention from urgent policy priorities, leaving the province in a state of uncertainty.



Andrek Lesufi’s cabinet has ushered in a new phase of political contention, marked by the exclusion of the DA and ongoing power struggles within the GNU framework. As ActionSA and other parties critique these developments, the urgent need for resolution and cohesive governance becomes increasingly apparent. Gauging the broader ramifications, it is clear that the stakes extend beyond mere political maneuvering to encompass the economic and social well-being of Gauteng’s citizens.

Moving forward, it will be crucial for all involved parties to transcend partisan divides and forge a collaborative path ahead. Only through such concerted efforts can meaningful progress be made, ensuring that the province's governance structures are responsive, inclusive, and geared towards sustainable development. It remains to be seen whether the current impasse will spur a much-needed introspection and drive towards more effective governmental practices.