Ramaphosa’s new cabinet much the same

All we got was him filling up posts.


The much-anticipated Cabinet reshuffle on Monday night by President Cyril Ramaphosa did not deserve all the hype it was receiving.

For weeks he had been promising to restructure his Cabinet but all we got was him filling up posts, further making us wonder why he took such a long time.

His new Cabinet is still fairly much the same, with only the notable exclusion of Lindiwe Sisulu as tourism minister.

This has been expected since she said she would not be willing to serve in Cabinet if Ramaphosa wins a second term as ANC president.

Survival

But, surprisingly, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma survived. She was one of Ramaphosa’s vocal critics but instead of firing her, he demoted her to the women, youth and children portfolio, which has less weight than the department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) she handled.

This was a subtle way of telling her he has lost confidence in her. It is appalling that the president has kept poor performers.

It boggles the mind how the likes of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande, Police Minister Bheki Cele, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga have been retained. These ministers are wasteful expenditure to our country.

Nzimande and Motshekga have been at the helm of the education portfolios for years, but nothing seems to be going right.

One doesn’t expect them to perform miracles, but they are tired and no longer have anything to offer. As for Cele, crime is spiraling out of control under his watch and Gordhan has done nothing tangible to turn Eskom around – as the country faces an energy crisis that is crippling the economy.

Electricity minister

While it was expected that Paul Mashatile will be deputy president, thumbs up to the appointment of Dr Kgosientso “Sputla” Ramokgopa as minister in the presidency responsible for electricity.

He comes with vast experience and seems suitable enough to take on the challenge of appointing an Eskom CEO and ending load shedding.

ALSO READ: Kgosientsho Ramokgopa appointed as electricity minister

The appointment of former KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala as minister of public works and infrastructure is welcome.

But the appointment of Zizi Kodwa as minister of sports, arts and culture is just a promotion for being Ramaphosa’s number one fan and to get rid of the “minister of condolences”, Nathi Mthethwa.

The president should have appointed Parks Tau as Cogta minister instead of a deputy. With all that taking place, though, the whole Cabinet still lacks va-va-voom.

Ramaphosa’s new Cabinet doesn’t justify why he was consulting so much that it led to delays. It is still an old age home and lacks youth in a world that is growing younger.

Ramaphosa has spat in the face of young ANC deployees to parliament and voiced a motion of no confidence in them.

A proper shake-up would have been more welcomed, for this is just a copy and paste Cabinet. All in all, Ramaphosa is really taking us for a ride. If he thinks his Cabinet inspires serious confidence, that is just a pipe dream.

This was an opportunity for him to infuse new and fresh blood in the country’s executive, but he has failed dismally.

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