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ANC NWC is open for talks on formation of GNU, says Bhengu-Motsiri

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Johnathan Paoli

THE National Working Committee (NWC) of the African National Congress (ANC) has announced the party’s intention to work together with all parties in light of the failure of any party in obtaining an absolute majority to form a government alone at the national level, and in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri gave a media briefing at Chief Albert Luthuli House in Johannesburg on Wednesday and said the party was keen and determined to engage all parties and unite the broadest range of sectors of the country behind the urgent need to escape the current potential electoral stalemate.

“The ANC has taken the position that we must all act in the interest of our country and its people, and work to build a national consensus on the form of government that is best suited to move South Africa forward at this moment in our history,” Bhengu-Motsiri said.

Bhengu-Motsiri said the party is driven by an imperative to maintain national unity, stability and a government that will address the pressing socio-economic challenges facing the country adding that the ANC has started engagements with political parties who share their vision of developing South Africa.

“We have been meeting with all parties that are keen to contribute ideas on how we can collectively move our country forward to form a government that ensures national unity and stability, continues the transformation of South Africa, and safeguards our Constitutional democracy,” she said.

The spokesperson confirmed that the NWC met on Monday to discuss reports from national officials regarding meetings held with other parties.

These include delegations from the Inkatha Freedom Party, Economic Freedom Fighters, Democratic Alliance, National Freedom Party and the Patriotic Alliance; in addition to engagements with alliance partners South African Communist Party, Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African National Civic Organisation.

In terms of engagements with former President Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe party, the national officials reported no positive response, despite repeatedly reaching out for a meeting.

“Our door remains open as we continue to reach out to every party that is keen to contribute positively to moving the country forward,” Bhengu-Motsiri said.

She said following discussions on the reports, the NWC is expected to present its perspective on forming a government to the national executive committee (NEC) on Thursday.

The ANC is entering the historic national coalition talks with 40.18%, while the DA has 21.81%, the new MK Party holds 14.58%, and the EFF has 9.52%.

Bhengu-Motsiri said the party has held extended sessions of the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) in relation to the nomination of candidates for Premiers in the provinces where the ruling party gained a majority or was likely to lead a coalition government.

She confirmed that the PECs included representatives from its alliance partners and former President Kgalema Motlanthe, and were required to nominate three premier candidates of which two must be women.

Bhengu-Motsiri said the candidates would be interviewed in the coming days, with the final premier candidates being unveiled early next week.

She said this would come ahead of the provincial legislatures which are due to sit on 17 and 18 June to elect speakers, deputy speakers and premiers.

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