November 23, 2001

SOUTH AFRICA: ANC might ‘sacrifice’ Cape Premiership

The Western Cape African National Congress looks set to give up the provincial premiership in exchange for the majority of seats on the provincial cabinet, as part of the co-operation pact with the New National Party now on the brink of finalisation. There is also strong speculation that the deal will involve a ministerial and deputy ministerial post for the NNP at national level. Earlier this week it was revealed that the party demanded three national ministers and two deputy ministers as an opening gambit.

A veil of secrecy has been drawn over the agreement, of which the details will only be announced once a complete package for all three tiers of government is agreed. It is expected the new Western Cape cabinet will comprise 12 MEC posts, including the addition of a planning and development portfolio to accelerate service delivery. The ANC is also likely to claim finance, housing, education and agriculture.

The path is now clear for ex-Cape Town mayor Peter Marais to become Western Cape premier. He was assured by the NNP leadership of being „part of our future plans" in a „key senior role". His hand is likely to be strengthened next Thursday when the NNP head council is expected to select him as provincial leader. The position became vacant when Gerald Morkel resigned last week to be elected as Democratic Alliance (DA) head in the Western Cape on Nov 17. (Mail&Guardian)

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