President Jacob Zuma reshuffle of South Africa’s government saw the Rand drop to its lowest since December 2015 when then Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene was replaced with Zuma’s ‘weekend special’ Des van Rooyen, before Pravin Gordhan took the helm of National Treasury for the second time.
However, despite the reshuffle being announced and implemented, ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe said on the 702 Breakfast Show this morning that it is not clear where the names of the new Ministers came from. When asked where he believes the list of the Cabinet reshuffle was developed, Mantashe responded that he does not know, yet he is certain that it was not developed within the ANC structure.
Uncertainty from the ANC
When speaking to Xolani Gwala from 702, Mantashe said: “There was a discussion on Monday, but that was more on the area of the Finance Minister (Pravin Gordhan). When we left it was quite clear to us that he was going to be reshuffled. The rest of the reshuffles, I can describe it yesterday as being informed, I can’t use the word consulted on the matter. Because we were given a list that was complete. And in my own view, I felt that this list was developed somewhere else and given to us to legitimise it. My own view is that I am very uncomfortable because areas where ministers do not perform have not been touched.”
When asked about the reaction to the decision to remove Gordhan as Minister, Mantashe responded: “We can’t be happy with that because we think that the Finance Minister was a hard worker.”
Mantashe conveyed that Ministers had in the past been put into positions where they had no relevant experience but have coped with the role. The process to appoint the new ministers, however, is what is of concern. “The process made me a little bit jittery and uncomfortable.”
The opposition respond
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has opposed the Cabinet reshuffle, calling on people to defend the South Africa’s Constitutional Democracy. “President Jacob Zuma’s decision to fire the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, and the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mcebesi Jonas, should be a rallying call for all South Africans to stand together and defend our hard-won Constitutional Democracy.
“The President has once again shown that he has no interest in our beloved country’s future – or the nine million South Africans who are unemployed. He has bowed to the whims of those who are determined to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor and jobless. This is an act of complete state capture.”
The Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) stated that the appointment of Malusi Gigaba as new Minister of Finance is part of the ongoing expansion of state capture by the Guptas and at the same time, the reinforcement of President Zuma's faction within the ANC.
Dr Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus said: “President Zuma's actions are detrimental to South Africa and its residents in terms of economic growth. This will simply cause more poverty, unemployment and the enrichment of a small black elite.
“The ministers who said they would resign if Pravin Gordhan is removed, will now have to prove that they were serious and should do the honourable thing by actually resigning. If the ministers resign and lodge and support a vote of no confidence in President Zuma, they could rescue the people of South Africa by getting rid of the president.”
The new Ministers
Little has been said by the Presidency regarding the reasons for the Cabinet reshuffle. In a statement released on behalf of President Zuma, it noted: “I have decided to make changes to the National Executive in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
“The changes bring some younger MPs and women into the National Executive in order to benefit from their energy, experience and expertise.”
The new Ministers and deputy Ministers are as follows:
- Minister of Energy, Mmamoloko “Nkhensani” Kubayi, replacing, replacing Tina Joemat-Petterssen
- Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi, replacing Dipou Peters
- Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, replacing Pravin Gordhan
- Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, replacing Nathi Nhleko
- Minister of Public Works, Nathi Nhleko, replacing Thulas Nxesi
- Minister of Sports and Recreation, Thembelani Nxesi, replacing Fikile Mbalula
- Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, replacing Derek Hanekom
- Minister of Public Service and Administration, Faith Muthambi, replacing Ngoaka Ramathlodi
- Minister of Home Affairs, Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize, replacing Malusi Gigaba
- Minister of Communications, Ayanda Dlodlo, replacing Faith Muthambi
- Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, replacing Ayanda Dlodlo
- Deputy Minister of Finance, Sifiso Buthelezi, replacing Mcebisi Jonas
- Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, Ben Martins, replacing Gratitude Magwanishe
- Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Maggie Sotyu, replacing Rejoice Mabudafhasi
- Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Gratitude Magwanishe, replacing Mwzandile Masina
- Deputy Minister of Communications, Thandi Mahambehlala, replacing Thembisa Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
- Deputy Minister of Tourism, Elizabeth Thabethe, replacing Tokozile Xasa
- Deputy Minister of Police, Bongani Mkongi, replacing Maggie Sotyu
- Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, replacing Hlengiwe Mkhize
- Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Nomathemba November, replacing Elizabeth Thabethe