DA proposals to ANC: protect Reserve Bank, give powers to provinces, outlaw cadre deployment

Thabo Mokone Parliamentary editor
DA Western Cape premier candidate Alan Winde reacts at the election results centre in Cape Town on May 31 2024.
DA Western Cape premier candidate Alan Winde reacts at the election results centre in Cape Town on May 31 2024.
Image: Reuters/Esa Alexander

The DA has placed the protection of the constitution at the centre of its coalitions negotiations framework, but also wants certain powers to be devolved from national to provincial governments

The party also wants the proposed coalition government to set up a mechanism to allow “multiparty access” to and “input into” the budgeting process, which has thus far been the sole domain of the ANC-led national government and the National Treasury.

These are among the six constitutionally-based foundations laid out by the DA’s high-powered negotiation team as priority areas, which they will put to the ANC and other parties as formal negotiations are set to start in earnest in the coming days.

The priority areas are detailed in a discussion document titled, “A framework for multiparty government”.

The DA’s team of experienced coalition dealmakers include federal chairperson Helen Zille, her predecessor Tony Leon, party strategist and former CEO Ryan Coetzee, chief whip in the sixth parliament Siviwe Gwarube, as well as Western Cape premier Alan Winde and MEC Ivan Meyer.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa announced late on Thursday his party’s highest decision-making body in between national conferences, the NEC, had decided to invite all parties to talks to discuss the formation of a government of national unity.

This comes after the ANC was brought down to less than 50% of the national votes for the first time since 1994 after a fiercely contested election on May 29.

On the constitution, the DA is demanding no tampering with the bill of rights and the independence of the SA Reserve Bank.

“The protection and promotion of the constitution is foundational to the future success of South Africa. We draw particular attention to the founding provisions and the bill of rights in their entirety.”

Clauses 223-225 set out the establishment, objectives and powers and functions of the Reserve Bank. These provide for the independence of the Reserve Bank and sound monetary policy “to protect the value of the currency in the interest of balanced and sustainable economic growth in the republic”.

The DA also wants a corruption-free and effective public service where cadre deployment is outlawed, and the Public Service Commission strengthened.

But the issue of cadre deployment might prove to be a sticky bargaining point with the ANC as it has committed to continue implementing it despite adverse finding on it by the courts and the state capture commission of inquiry.

“To this end legislation and organisational reform is required to ensure the Public Service Commission is given full independence and powers of oversight, that a clear distinction is made between political posts and public service posts, that cadre deployment is outlawed, and that best practice is applied to delivery.”

The blue party also said the coalition government should not increase the budget deficit to more than 3.5%.

Other economic proposals include support for Ramaphosa’s operation vulindlela, the unbundling of Eskom, the concessioning of the ports, mineral rights reforms and title deeds reforms to expand land ownership.

The DA, which retains control of the Western Cape and governs the City of Cape Town, wants the coalition government to devolve certain powers to provinces.

This has long been a DA campaign issue, including in this year's general elections, in which the party made it clear it wanted national government to allow it to run the police service in the Western Cape and the passenger rail service, among others.

“We believe responsibility for delivery should be devolved to the sphere of government best able to ensure successful implementation.

“To this end we would foresee a range of devolution measures to be discussed in accordance with section 99 of the constitution, and in particular, the implementation of the cabinet’s decision to devolve passenger rail to metros, the devolution of criminal investigative power for metro policy and law enforcement officers.”

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