South Africa

Here is who will take Ramaphosa’s place in National Assembly

NAtionalAss

Former Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau has snuck into the National Assembly at the last minute.

Once the president is elected from the 400 members of the National Assembly, he ceases to be a member and a replacement must be found.

The ANC has given the honour to the man who served as Johannesburg’s mayor between 2011 and 2016.

Tau has also served as the Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Deputy Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and was a member of sixth parliament’s National Assembly.

The 54-year-old was sworn in as member of parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

90 seats lost in 10 years

The ANC’s seats in the National Assembly have been slowly diminishing since the 2009 elections.

The 2014 elections saw the party move down to 249 seats from the 264 it secured five years earlier. The year 2009 was also the last time the ANC held a two-thirds majority in government as the 249 seats in 2014 constituted 62.1%.

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The 2019 elections saw another marginal slide to 230, or 57.5%, but it was the results of 29 May that left a large portion of the ANC national leadership anxious about its future roles.

The drop to 159 seats following the 2024 results was a seismic event that will ripple through the country for decades.

Among the household ANC names to miss out on the seventh parliament include Lindiwe Zulu, Bheki Cele and Thulas Nxesi, although several big names called time on their political careers.

‘Don’t be afraid of GNU – Ramaphosa

Speaking at his inauguration, President Cyril Ramaphosa asked South Africans to trust the Government of National Unity (GNU).

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Negotiations are underway for the soon-to-be announced Cabinet and the president claimed a unifying vision would be a prerequisite for all involved.

“Those who do not work with us will be kicked out. In the coming days, I will be building a Cabinet that will work for you,” he said.

High on his list of priorities is an effort to reduce unemployment.

Ramaphosa stated: “We want to create jobs. We are going to get everyone who works in the GNU to create jobs. I will make sure that happens. If you want to work with me to create jobs, you are my friend.”