Tuesday 18 June 2024

An analysis of the GNU statement of intent



Colour code

Meaningless fluff

Outright lies

Wishful thinking



1. South Africa has made strides since 1994 toward establishing a non­ racial, non-sexist, united and democratic society and improving the lives of all who live in it. We are building a democratic state guided by a progressive Constitution and a system of institutions that aim to translate the values of the Constitution into practice.

2. The 2024 national and provincial election was highly contested and, at times, divisive. The results of the election have the potential to foment further political and social fragmentation. Relatively low levels of voter turnout and registration suggest growing alienation from the political system.

3. At this historic juncture, we must act to ensure stability and peace, tackling the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality, entrench our Constitutional democracy and the rule of law, and to build a South Africa for all its people.

4. The people of South Africa expect us to work together as political parties to achieve these objectives, and to usher in a new era of peace, justice and prosperity for all.

Meaningless fluff

5. lt is in this context that we, as Political Parties, that participated in the 2024 Elections and received seats in the national and provincial legislatures, pledge to cooperate through a voluntary Government of National Unity (GNU).

6. The GNU2024 shall include cooperation in both the Executive and the Legislature.

The parties reaffirm our collective commitment to the founding values of the Constitution and to the preamble to the Constitution, which reads:

"We, the people of South Africa, Recognize the injustices of our past;

Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;

Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country, and

Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.

We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic,

All South Africans are bound by the constitution. There is nothing special about this lot.


8. All parties to the GNU commit to uphold the following fundamental principles:

8.1 Respect for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights in its entirety, a united South Africa and the rule of law.

8.2 Non-racialism and non-sexism.

8.3 Social justice, redress and equity, and the alleviation of poverty.

8.4 Human dignity and the progressive realisation of socio­ economic rights.

8.5 Nation-building, social cohesion and unity in diversity.

8.6 Peace, stability and safe communities, especially for women and children.

8.7 Accountability, transparency and community participation in government.

8.8 Evidence-based policy and decision-making.

8.9 A professional, merit-based, non-partisan, developmental public service that puts people first.

8.10 lntegrity, good governance and accountable leadership.

9. All parties that form part of the GNU commit to these principles.

10. The GNU is constituted in the interest of all South Africans. This Statement of lntent will therefore be a public document to ensure accountability and foster trust between the electorate and the political parties that form part of the GNU.


11. As Parties to this GNU, we agree that the 7th administration should focus on the following priorities:

11.1 Rapid, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, the promotion of fixed capital investment and industrialization, job creation, transformation, livelihood support, land reform, infrastructure development, structural reforms and transformational change, fiscal sustainability, and the sustainable use of our national resources and endowments. Macro-economic management must support national development goals in a sustainable manner.

11.2 Creating a more just society by tackling poverty, spatial inequalities, food security and the high cost of living, providing a social safety net, improving access to and the quality of, basic services, and protecting workers' rights.

11.3 Stabilising local government, effective cooperative governance, the assignment of appropriate responsibilities to different spheres of government and review of the role of traditional leadership in the governance framework.

11.4 lnvesting in people through education, skills development and affordable quality health care.

11.5 Building state capacity and creating a professional, merit­ based, corruption-free and developmental public service. Restructuring and improving state-owned entities to meet national development goals.

11.6 Strengthening law enforcement agencies to address crime. corruption and gender-based violence, as well as strengthening national security capabilities.

11.7 Strengthening the effectiveness of Parliament in respect of its legislative and oversight functions.

11.8 Strengthening social cohesion, nation-building and democratic participation, and undertaking common programmes against racism, sexism, tribalism and other forms of intolerance.

11.9 Foreign policy based on human rights, constitutionalism, the national interest, solidarity, peaceful resolution of conflicts, to achieve the African Agenda 2063, South-South, North-South and African cooperation, multilateralism and a just, peaceful and equitable world.

12. Parties commit to an all-inclusive National Dialogue process - with parties, civil society, labour, business and other sectors - to discuss these and other critical challenges facing the nation. The National Dialogue process will seek to develop a national social compact that enables the country to meet the aspirations of the National Development Plan.

13. The parties to this GNU Statement of lntent shall, following the formation of the GNU, hold a Lekgotla (Strategy Session) develop an agreed policy agenda, which shall include policy priorities for the GNU.


14. Parties will work together in good faith and seek to build consensus on the formation of government where no party has an outright majority, on the basis of the above shared values and minimum programme, and in the interest of all South Africa's people.

15. Parties will cooperate with each other in respect of the executive and/or legislature activities to advance these shared goals.

16. The Government of National Unity shall be constituted in a manner that reflects genuine inclusiveness of political parties that are party to this Statement of lntent and are represented in the National Assembly broadly taking into account the number of seats parties have in the National Assembly and the need to advance the National lnterest. The President shall in constituting the Executive, take into account the electoral outcomes.

17. Whilst recognizing the President's prerogative to appoint Members of the Executive, such appointments should be done in consultation with the Leaders of the respective Parties of the Members considered for appointment.

18. The GNU shall take decisions in accordance with the established practice of consensus. Where no consensus is possible, the principle of sufficient consensus shall apply.

19. Sufficient consensus exists when;

19.1 All parties have had the opportunity to express their views;

19.2 Despite reasonable attempts to resolve disagreements, and find common ground, there is no general consensus;

19.3 Parties to the GNU representing 60% of seats in the National Assembly agree; and

19.4 Any party that disagrees has been able to formally record their objections.

20. The Parties to the GNU shall also establish dispute resolution or deadlock breaking mechanisms, in instances where sufficient consensus is not reached. Parties should raise disputes within the mechanisms created for this purpose.

21. The parties recognize established Government and Cabinet protocols in decision-making and the formulation of the budget.

22. This GNU Statement of lntent and Modalities may guide approaches to provincial government in the interests of effective, stable and responsive governance which meet the needs of the people in a province.

23. Parties to this agreement will form a GNU Consultations Council that will be responsible for Consultations and monitoring progress on the minimum programme of the Government of National Unity, and alignment of the 7th administration's programme, its resourcing and implementation mechanisms.

24. In keeping with the spirit of an inclusive GNU it is agreed that the composition shall be discussed and agreed amongst the existing parties, whenever new parties desire to be part of the GNU.

25. The parties to this Statement of lntent agree that on 14 June 2024, they will elect the national office bearers as set out in Addendum A.

26. The parties to this Statement of lntent agree that on 15 June 2024 they will elect the national office bearers as set out in Addendum B.

27. The parties to this Statement of lntent agree that when committees of Parliament are constituted, the spirit of a Parliament of National Unity shall be implemented to enable parties that are part of the GNU to be accorded leadership positions of some committees. In this regard the parties agree that the IFP shall be elected to the position of Chair of Chairs.

28. Amendments to this document must be agreed to by sufficient consensus.

Same as us all

The ANC is explicitly racial.

Meaningless fluff. The ANC  have not accomplished this in 30 years of unfettered power. The GNU won't start now with these pie-in-the-sky platitudes

I’ll believe it when I see it.  Perhaps the DA can make an impact here.

Meaningless fluff

Elegant words, fine-sounding phrases are cheap to make.
Set specific goals for specific dates, and specific consequences for those responsible.



Recipe for deadlock

How about

 “The parties will remain cloistered with minimum catering until sufficient consensus has been achieved.”

 If it works for the Vatican, it could work here. 

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