Cabinet reshuffle draws ire of opposition slamming it as a gratuitous bloating, shifting of ‘rotten apples’

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  • President Cyril Ramaphosa has finally announced changes to his Cabinet.
  • Several opposition parties have slammed the appointment of a minister of electricity and expanding of the Cabinet.
  • Ramaphosa has just over a year remaining of his term as president.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle has been described as a gratuitous bloating, and confirming how out of touch the ANC government is with the needs and concerns of citizens.

In a statement, DA leader John Steenhuisen said the ministers of electricity and of planning, monitoring and evaluation, will add an additional R74 million to the public wage bill.

“It is simply unfathomable that the president can push this cost onto the South African taxpayer while the nation languishes under sluggish economic growth, the highest unemployment rate in recent history, and an electricity crisis that is shedding jobs at record numbers,” Steenhuisen said.

Furthermore, Steenhuisen said there was no announcement of performance agreements, targets, or tangible outcomes and timelines for the ministries.

According to Steenhuisen, this makes it impossible to gauge whether or not either of these ministers perform.

“Housing both of them in the Presidency also means that these ministers will be shielded from accountability in Parliament where a committee on the Presidency still does not exist. But it is less about who President Ramaphosa has added to his Cabinet and more about who has remained or simply not faced any consequences for dismal performance.

AS IT HAPPENED | Cabinet reshuffle: Mashatile new deputy president, Ramokgopa electricity minister

“Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s move from Cogta [cooperative governance and traditional affairs] to women, youth, and people with disabilities demonstrates that there are no consequences for the sole individual who ravaged our economy with irrational regulations under a national state of disaster for the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa said they were not in favour of the ministry of electricity.

“The ability and capacity are there and we hope that he will play a supportive role in dealing with load shedding. Reinforcement must be done at Eskom. This adds to the bloated Cabinet. What he should have done is to reinforce Eskom with the necessary manpower to bring an end to load shedding,” he told ENCA.

Build One SA leader Mmusi Maimane said the most significant line in the president's speech was stating that it was not an overhaul of the executive, but it was only to fill vacancies.

“The same rotten apples were shuffled from one post to another – the polar opposite of what was needed in a time of socio-economic crisis. As South Africans worry about the economy, crime, education, healthcare and keeping the lights on, the president saw it fit to simply rearrange the employment conditions of old, out of touch ANC deployees in Cabinet, giving many people new roles to repeat old failures,” Maimane said.

READ | Cabinet reshuffle: Meet Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, the new minister of electricity

He also said the bloated Cabinet would increase burdens on the taxpayers.

“The blue lights, the security and the houses including generators so that they do not experience load shedding,” he said.

ATM leader Vuyolwethu Zungula said Ramaphosa does not have the moral authority to change the Cabinet.

“This is being done for his own narrow interest. We have a department of public enterprises which is failing. There is nothing said and done about that minister. He has used his position for his own gain. The ANC is tired. Nothing positive is coming from them. The country has gone from bad to worse. It’s a failing government. Ramaphosa’s priority is selling Ankoles, not the country’s issues,” he told ENCA.

ActionSA president Herman Mashaba said the long-awaited Cabinet reshuffle was underwhelming at best, demonstrating the dearth of talent in the ruling party.

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