Cabinet reshuffle: Ramaphosa missed an opportunity to 'clean out' his executive - DA

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DA leader John Steenhuisen delivers an address in Eldorado Park.
DA leader John Steenhuisen delivers an address in Eldorado Park.
PHOTO: Ntwaagae Seleka/News24
  • The DA has criticised the Cabinet reshuffle as a missed opportunity by President Cyril Ramaphosa to replace all controversial ministers.
  • The opposition party claimed that the number of non-performing ministers was still more than committed ones.
  • Ramaphosa was also accused of failing to reduce his Cabinet.

"Tonight's (Thursday) Cabinet reshuffle contains one small positive in the departure of Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, and then a whole lot of the same, just dressed up in a different portfolio's robes."

So says DA leader John Steenhuisen, who believes that President Cyril Ramaphosa missed an opportunity to "clean out" his Cabinet when he reshuffled his executive on Thursday.

Steenhuisen said while it was positive that Mkhize – who is under a cloud of corruption allegations – had resigned, some of the most compromised and worst-performing ministers had managed to hold onto their jobs.

Graphic illustrating Ramaphosa Cabinet reshuffle
Who's in, who's out?

"It was also a big missed opportunity to demonstrate a real commitment to accountability," he said.

"The list of non-performing ministers far exceeds those who do their jobs, and so what was required tonight was more clean-out and less shuffle. We welcome Mkhize’s resignation.

"Given the damning evidence against him and the fact that President Cyril Ramaphosa has been in possession of the SIU report into the Digital Vibes contract for more than a month now. It is baffling that it took so long to get rid of him. But, this is better late than never," Steenhuisen said.

READ | Mkhize's resignation letter: 'I am resigning to bring stability to health department'

The opposition party expressed concern about shifting the portfolio of state security into the Presidency.

Steenhuisen warned that the country’s intelligence machinery should not rest in the hands of the president, as centralising of power had never been a good idea.

"The reshuffle also should have been an opportunity to fire both Police Minister Bheki Cele and State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo for their catastrophic failure to foresee, prevent and respond to the unrest three weeks ago.

"The fact that Cele stays in his post and Dlodlo is simply shuffled off to Public Service shows that we are yet to see any accountability in the executive. Similarly, it is puzzling how Minister David Mahlobo has managed to hold on to his job given the damning revelations at the Zondo Commission.

"Another minister that should have been shuffled right out of the cabinet is Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and replaced with one who believes in renewable energy," said Steenhuisen.

The DA said it regretted Tito Mboweni’s resignation and wished him well.

The party called on new Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana to demonstrate very quickly that he has the stomach for bold reforms and will not budge from fiscal responsibility.

"He will need to put a stake in the ground right away. He should also start his term by clearing up the details of his resignation as Deputy Minister of Economic Development back in 2012, amid a massive fraud scandal.

"We need to know that our finance minister is beyond reproach, and for this, we need his full disclosure," said Steenhuisen.

The party accused Ramaphosa of failing to reduce his Cabinet and do away with deputy ministers.

Steenhuisen said, in the light of the mounting corruption scandals that have plagued his administration, Ramaphosa should implement lifestyle audits.

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