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President Cyril Ramaphosa likely to announce rejigged Cabinet ‘in matter of days’

President Cyril Ramaphosa likely to announce rejigged Cabinet ‘in matter of days’
Newly elected ANC deputy president Paul Mashatile (Photo: Gallo Images / Luba Lesolle)

On Wednesday, Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya told the media it was only a matter of days before President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed a deputy president.

‘There are vacancies in [the] Cabinet and we also now have a vacancy in the role of the deputy president, so there is a sense of urgency that the President fills those vacancies as soon as possible. In a matter of days that announcement will be made,” said Magwenya.

Ramaphosa has spent two months mulling changes he would make to the executive and has faced mounting criticism for this.

The President consulted with ANC alliance partners at the weekend on the changes he would be making to his Cabinet. Sources within Cosatu told Daily Maverick that discussions centred on the appointment of a minister of electricity, while the South African Communist Party focused on the performance of Cabinet ministers.

Read in Daily Maverick:Outgoing Deputy President David Mabuza the latest ANC member to resign from Parliament

The delays around the Cabinet reshuffle sparked rumours that newly elected ANC deputy president Paul Mashatile was being blocked by Ramaphosa’s close allies. However, Magwenya tried to justify the amount of time the President has taken to make a final decision on the matter. 

“The President has to apply his mind. The appointment of Cabinet members and the management of Cabinet is not something you can conduct in haste or something you can do in a rush. It’s something that has to be carefully considered because you have to look at the stability of the government and programmes that are already under way,” he explained.

Outgoing deputy president David Mabuza resigned as a member of the National Assembly on Tuesday. This was a necessary step to make way for Mashatile to be appointed.

Other vacancies the President has to fill include transport minister and public service and administration minister. 

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Recently sworn in ANC MPs who are likely to be appointed to Cabinet include second secretary-general Maropene Ramokgopa, KwaZulu-Natal cooperative governance MEC Sihle Zikalala and former Gauteng economic development MEC Parks Tau.  

Head of Infrastructure in the Presidency Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has been touted for the Ministry of Electricity’s top job.

Read in Daily Maverick:David Mabuza a Cabinet Lekgotla no-show as his deputy president tenure reaches its twilight

Just days before his appointment, Mashatile on Wednesday addressed members of the National Union of Mineworkers where he said that in order for the governing party’s renewal programme to succeed, leaders and government deployees should be held accountable for wrongdoing. 

He was speaking at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Boksburg at NUM’s special congress.  

Mashatile believes it will help the party to fight against corruption and unacceptable conduct within its ranks and in society.

“It is also about renewing our commitment to the values of the ANC including hard work, honesty, selflessness, democratic debate, discipline, criticism and self-criticism. Renewal is about strengthening the organisational culture and building an ethical movement. It is about modernising our movement,” he said. 

Mashatile further stressed the importance of unity within the alliance, adding that the ANC would never abandon its task of working towards the unity of the alliance.

“It is only through a united alliance guided by a joint programme of action that we can deliver on the objectives of the National Democratic Revolution: to build a truly united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa. We are conscious of the reality that unity cannot and should not be equated to the absence of differences. Indeed, unity does not mean sameness. 

“We also expect members of our trusted ally, the NUM, to play a significant role in the renewal, revitalisation and unity of the ANC. While we have made some progress in renewing and rebuilding the ANC, we must act with greater purpose and urgency going forward. We need to renew the ANC in order to restore its relevance, and to narrow the social distance with the people,” he said.

However, he remained modest when questioned by reporters about the possibility of his appointment as second in command of the country. 

“The President has not consulted me so I don’t know… the [reshuffle] will happen within the next seven days,” Mashatile said. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    Irrespective how often the cards et shuffled, it will remain the same stack. Nothing will change. The thieves will carry on stealing and the mafia will carry on growing.

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    CR announcing his cabinet in the next few days….
    Days, weeks, months, years….who the hell cares! It will just be more of the same…all lining up for their personal wealth opportunities!

  • Peter Slingsby says:

    Does anyone know how many times rubbish can be recycled before it simply has to be discarded?

  • Rael Chai says:

    The President is applying his mind on consulting widely while consulting widely on applying his mind. Its a lot of mind application and consulting.

  • Johan Buys says:

    That CR consulted with Cosatu and SACP is an insult to business in SA and civil society. It is obvious that we have a dozen too many ministries. It is obvious to the rest of us and one would hope to CR which ministers directly oppose him and his supposed reform agenda.

    What did the unions and communists have to add? Certainly not a smaller cabinet. Certainly not that Sisulu, Kopdoek, Cele, Kubayi, Mthetwa, Motsoaledi, Modise, Mchunu and Mashabane must go.

    Cadre comrade consensus will be the end of SA.

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    Mashatile talks the talk but there is no sign of any ANC official walking the walk!
    He talks about the National Democratic Revolution – building a truly united, democratic, non- racial, non sexist and prosperous South Africa. Well I hope he had crossed fingers behind his back because to achieve a National Democratic Revolution the ANC would have to get rid of racist BEE policies and Radical economic transformation ( which is just a fancy phrase for “stealing from the taxpayer”) And that’s just for starters!

  • Michael Gray says:

    What does it matter – its like rotating 4 flat tires on your car.

  • Rob Wilson says:

    Some people made a wheel and used it constructively as soon as they thought about it. They advanced, grew and prospered. Others sat in a circle and talked so much they never knew they had the wheel right there. For goodness sake get on with it.

  • Jenny Shields says:

    Judging by input of outgoing Deputy President, it is not a very vital role. Just symbolic to balance scales? I read comments below and laugh wryly. What a disappointment Ramaphosa has been. To think I thought there was hope when he got in – twice? Africa never fails to disappoint…

  • Yunus Scheepers says:

    Deck chairs … Titanic? “Mashatile believes it will help the party to fight against corruption and unacceptable conduct within its ranks and in society.” According to Fikile there isn’t any corruption in the ANC so isn’t this a waste of time?

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