Every effort must be made to ensure the GNU succeeds

Monday, June 24, 2024

President Cyril Ramaphosa says every effort must be made to ensure that the Government of National Unity (GNU) remains true to its founding spirit of collaboration in good faith to drive a programme that improves the lives of all South Africa’s people.

“South Africans made clear with their votes in last month’s elections that they want their elected representatives to put aside narrow interests and work together to build the country,” President Ramaphosa said.

In his weekly newsletter, President Ramaphosa said the formation of the second Government of National Unity (GNU) was a momentous development in South Africa’s democracy.

“The success of the GNU will be measured by the extent to which we are prepared to focus not on who will govern, but on how we will govern, together,” President Ramahosa said.

President Ramaphosa said the first GNU was established in 1994 to promote nation building and inclusivity from a racially divided past during a period of political transition.

“Giving effect to the principles of that Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be the overriding focus of this GNU. This will be done by pursing a common programme to eradicate poverty and build a more equal society, to create jobs, and to make government truly work for the people.

“The GNU Statement of Intent provides a solid base for genuine cooperation between parties across the political spectrum who have signed up of their own accord.

“The Statement of Intent commits the signatories to a set of foundational principles that include respect for constitutionalism, accountability, transparency and community participation in government, evidence-based policy and decision-making, professionalisation of the public service integrity and good governance,” the President said.

President Ramaphosa said the parties to the GNU have agreed on priorities for the incoming administration and that at the top of the list of priorities is the achievement of rapid, inclusive and sustainable economic growth to create jobs.

“It will be critical that the GNU stays the course on the structural reform that is underway to improve the business operating environment and establish South Africa as an investment destination of choice.

“These reforms are necessary to resolve longstanding challenges in key industries and create more jobs and opportunities. We will need to build on the progress that has already been made, while accelerating the pace of reform,” the President said.

President Rmaphosa said the fact that there is broad consensus among the parties on the priorities of the incoming administration gives an encouragement that the GNU will indeed take the country forward.  

“Emanating from the priorities outlined in the Statement of Intent, the parties will further refine the GNU’s programme, including through the proposed National Dialogue process.

“We remain committed to consensus-building and to the representation of a broad range of interests and viewpoints within government. At the same time, we are all keenly aware that South Africans expect action, implementation and results,” he said.

The President said the country’s hopes are pinned on the success of the GNU.

“Our stated commitment to work together constructively and for South Africa’s benefit has generated a great deal of goodwill that we should not squander. South Africans are watching.

“We should not waste our energies on those who stand in the way of our country’s progress or lose momentum over differences that can be resolved,” the President said. – SAnews.gov.za