On Thursday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced changes in his cabinet by reshuffling some existing members of his executive by appointing new members and new deputy ministers.
New Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana at the swearing-in ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on August 6, 2021. Photo: GCIS.
JOHANNESBURG / CAPE TOWN – The downside to a cabinet reshuffle in South Africa is that the president doesn’t have to explain the rationale for the decisions he makes.
The nation now has three newly appointed ministers officially sworn in and installed.
On Thursday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced changes in his cabinet by reshuffling some existing members of his executive, appointing new members and new deputy ministers.
The Democratic Alliance took to the High Court in 2017 to force former President Jacob Zuma to explain why he sacked then Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas, but it didn’t not set a precedent.
And so, less than a day after the president made his changes, some economists are wondering what he was thinking, especially when he chose to appoint Stella Ndabeni-Abrahms to the crucial small business development portfolio and Lindiwe Sisulu. tourism, an industry that contributes a significant portion of the country’s GDP.
Citibank economist Gina Schoeman said these departments stood out and the problem ran deeper: âWe are now talking about the economic cluster, but everything has an impact on the national treasury right now because we are an economy. lacking in cash. I don’t know what Ramaphosa’s strategy was. I don’t know if there was a strategy around the economic cluster as much as there was a strategy on who to eliminate and who to minimize in order to have more of his cabinet on his side.
Ramaphosa has often referred to small businesses and the tourism sector among the keys that would unlock the country’s economic performance.
– Who is new: Ministers take over portfolios after cabinet reshuffle
– Who’s out: Victims of Ramaphosa’s cabinet reshuffle
– Who’s in: Ramaphosa reviews his cabinet – new ministers & positions
SALUTED FOR THE DELETION OF NDABENI-ABRAHAMS
Some analysts have welcomed the impeachment of Ndabeni-Abrahams as minister of communications and technology, saying the change of leadership in the key portfolio could be the boost he needs.
The president called on Khumbudzo Ntshaveni for the post, making her our 14th communications minister since democracy.
Ndabeni-Abrahams is one of many ministers who failed in the communications portfolio, following Nomvula Mokonyane and Faith Muthambi who both headed the department for brief periods before being sacked.
One of the main failures of Ndabeni-Abrahams is the delay in the long-awaited provision of broadband spectrum, which is now being challenged in the courts.
The digital migration, which was due to take place by 2015, also did not end under its watch with 2022 now the target date.
Leon Louw of the Free-Market Foundation said his dismissal was the right decision.
“I think this is a new opportunity with a new minister who is probably going to be quite open-minded and seek out real information and so, I think overall we should be happy with this change.”
GRAPHIC: The ins and outs of Ramaphosa’s cabinet reshuffle
The markets took the news well and Alexander Forbes chief economist Isaah Mhlanga said Godongwana was a good choice: âHis views are quite conservative compared to those of his ruling party colleagues. He understands the political space, he understands the markets. But he has also spoken to international investors of all kinds and can engage in economics and politics from any environment.
Schoeman agrees that Godongwana is a good choice, especially given his leadership as the ANC’s head of economic transformation.
“He put a lot of effort into trying to dilute the policies Ramaphosa inherited from Zuma.”
But will it be able to provide the necessary political weight and political coherence? And will his past be an obstacle?
“That includes the fact that he’s a risk, could he be corrupted again?” The second side is if someone wants to use this against them.
Schoeman refers to the dark cloud hanging over Godongwana which forced his resignation from his post as deputy minister in 2012.
This stemmed from his involvement in a company that allegedly defrauded workers at a garment factory worth R100 million in pension funds.
One of the decisions that raised eyebrows and drew criticism from some quarters is the decision to essentially dissolve the State Security Ministry and re-establish the intelligence apparatus under the presidency.
It is seen as Ramaphosa’s last effort to centralize power.
But Professor Jane Duncan said it could be a dangerous decision: âThe fact that we don’t have an intelligence minister is cause for concern and we should learn from other countries that have had a centralized intelligence approach. . One being Botswana and Zimbabwe, which was used by President Robert Mugabe to maintain his grip on power for several decades.
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