14 dis-appointees who didn't make it back to Cabinet

2019-05-30 21:56
Jeff Radebe. (Lindile Mbontsi)

Jeff Radebe. (Lindile Mbontsi)

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Fourteen politicians who served in the previous Cabinet didn't get the call to serve under President Cyril Ramaphosa when he announced his new executive on Wednesday evening.

For the first time since 1994, Jeff Radebe will not be part of the Cabinet.

Another stalwart who served in Nelson Mandela's Cabinet (from 1996 to 1999), Derek Hanekom, didn’t get a recall.

Hanekom indicated on Twitter he would continue as an MP, as he did with Pravin Gordhan when they were controversially booted out by Jacob Zuma in 2017.

ANC Women's League president, Bathabile Dlamini, also got the axe.

During her time as minister of social development, the Constitutional Court held her responsible for the debacle at the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the court found that she lied under oath. Despite this, Ramaphosa appointed her as minister in the presidency for women in March last year.

Another prominent member of the ANC women's league who didn’t make it back, is the league's spokesperson and former minister of sports and recreation Tokozile Xasa.

Nomvula Mokonyane, who didn’t take up her seat in the National Assembly, is another member of the previous Cabinet who will not return. Under Zuma, she served as minister of water affairs and sanitation, where a steady stream of allegations of corruption and maladministration followed her. She has also been implicated in corruption in testimony before the Zondo commission into state capture relating to Bosasa.

Ramaphosa appointed her a minister of communications in February last year, and later moved her to environmental affairs. 

Other members of the previous Cabinet who were not recalled, are: Rob Davies (trade and industry), Dipuo Letsatsi-Dube (state security), Mildred Oliphant (labour), Siyabonga Cwele (home affairs), Nomaindia Mfeketo (human settlements), Michael Masutha (justice and correctional services), Senzeni Zokwana (agriculture, forestry and fisheries), Susan Shabangu (social development) and Gugile Nkwinti (water and sanitation). 

Apart from putting new faces in his Cabinet, Ramaphosa was also under pressure to streamline it.

He brought it down from Zuma's 36 ministers to 28, similar to the Mbeki administrations.

From 36 to 28

Before announcing his Cabinet appointments and deputy ministers, Ramaphosa referred back to his State of the Nation Address in 2018, when he said: "It is critical that the structure and size of the state is optimally suited to meet the needs of the people and ensure the most efficient allocation of public resources."

He said on Wednesday evening when reviewing the structure of the state, they have been guided by the need to build a modern developmental state that has the means to drive economic and social transformation, to embrace innovation and to direct effort and resources towards where they will have the greatest impact.

"All South Africans are acutely aware of the great economic difficulties our country has been experiencing and the constraints this has placed on public finances," Ramaphosa said. 

"It is therefore imperative that in all areas and spheres of government, we place priority on revitalising our economy while exercising the greatest care in the use of public funds."

He said to "promote greater coherence, better coordination and improved efficiency"  a number of portfolios were combined reducing the number of ministers from 36 to 28.

The following portfolios have been combined: Trade and Industry with Economic Development, Higher Education and Trainingwith Science and Technology, Environmental Affairs with Forestry and Fisheries, Agriculture with Land Reform and Rural Development, Mineral Resources with Energy, Human Settlements with Water and Sanitation, Sports and Recreation with Arts and Culture.

Opposition parties have welcomed the reduction of ministers, but the general feeling is that Ramaphosa could have reduced the size of the executive even more, with several opposition leaders complaining about the number of deputy ministers.

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