Patricia De Lille’s political party says that while she’ll remain its leader, she’ll make an even better Minister.
The former Cape Town mayor was announced as President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Public Works Minister in Pretoria on Wednesday.
It was one of Ramaphosa’s major surprise announcements: She’s the only cabinet minister who is not a member of the African National Congress (ANC).
De Lille’s Good Party won two seats in the National Assembly at the 2019 General Elections. She had initially run as her party’s Western Cape Premier candidate, but opted to represent it in the national legislature.
The party’s Secretary-General Brett Herron has welcomed her appointment. He said that during the elections the party and De Lille had promised to give bring positive solutions to the country, and was willing to cooperate with whoever is in government.
“(Patricia) has been asked to serve our country and we can only respond by saying a good person has been asked to do something. The President has recognised the commitment and track record of a great South African and we support her appointment and the contribution she’s been asked to make,” Herron said.
Herron says De Lille’s appointment to Ramaphosa’s cabinet doesn’t mean the party will necessarily vote alongside the ANC in the National Assembly
“Good will remain an opposition party in the National Assembly and the Provincial Legislature. We will continue to offer our support where our government does what’s right, our solutions where we see they’re needed and our exposure of anything that is wrong, corrupt or unjust,” he said.
Good Leader Patricia De Lille said she stands by her comments that her party will cooperate with government when it is performing well, and not just oppose government for the sake of it.
“On President Ramaphosa’s election to the Presidency last week I pledged GOOD’s constructive support for turning South Africa around. This support we will wholeheartedly give…I am deeply honoured and humbled to have received the call to serve as a Minister of South Africa’s new cabinet,’ De Lille said.
But the opposition party leader said that being a member of Ramaphosa’s Cabinet does not mean his ANC government will get a free pass.
“I will be joining President Ramaphosa’s executive with open eyes and ears as a representative of good South Africans of integrity who love their country and demand better of their leaders. It is time for South Africans to demonstrate that we can rise above party political differences,” she said