No Cabinet reshuffle as Zuma focuses on economy, electricity and visas

2015-08-12 09:29
President Jacob Zuma (Jaco Marais, Die Burger)

President Jacob Zuma (Jaco Marais, Die Burger)

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President Jacob Zuma yesterday brushed off speculation of a pending Cabinet reshuffle, saying it was the “business” of government and there were no time limits.

A reshuffle had been expected in the past five months since the death of former public service minister Collins Chabane in a motor accident in March.

Zuma had built a reputation of changing his Cabinet frequently, with four reshuffles recorded in his first five-year term that ended in May 2014.

However, Zuma yesterday told media at a briefing in Pretoria that the government was not under pressure.

He had called the briefing to give South Africans an overview of progress made by the government in achieving its goals for the current year.

The briefing followed a Cabinet lekgotla held with ministers, premiers and mayors in July to look at the government’s successes and challenges since Zuma’s State of the Nation address in February.

Zuma said that South Africa’s economic growth was expected to increase steadily to at least 3% over the next three years. The 2014 growth rate was 1.5% he said. The government had committed to achieve a growth rate of 5% by 2019.

Zuma said the electricity shortages in the country were costing the economy but operations at national power producer Eskom “had stabilised and continued to improve”.

He said the utility was saving electricity through energy efficiency programmes and also had plans to add more power to the grid.

“For the medium- to long-term electricity supply, the nuclear build programme is at an advanced stage of planning and procurement should be concluded within the current financial year,” said Zuma.

He said the government had also noted concerns about the “unintended consequences of the new visa regulations and that a ministerial team led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa would look into the issue.

The team included ministers of home affairs, tourism, trade and industry, social development and small business.

Zuma said consensus on a definition for a national minimum wage had been reached at the National Economic Development and Labour Council.

The licence of Optimum Coal had also been reinstated, he said. It was suspended pending allegations on noncompliance with the law in terms of laying off workers.

“The company was directed to address issues relating to noncompliance,” said Zuma.

He urged residents to pay their debts to municipalities, adding that bill was currently at more than R100 billion in unpaid services.

Read more on:    zuma  |  jacob  |  cabinet  |  electicity

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