25 May 2014

South Africa: Democratic Alliance Laments New Cabinet

Photo: Antoine de Ras/Sapa
Jacob Zuma is sworn in by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng for a second term as president of South Africa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Cape Town — President Jacob Zuma's new Cabinet gives South Africans little hope that the country's problems will be tackled effectively, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said on Sunday.

"President Jacob Zuma's announcement of his new Cabinet does not inspire confidence that South Africa's major challenges -- weak economic growth, unemployment, and corruption -- will be tackled effectively in the president's second term," Zille said.

Zille welcomed the re-appointment of Aaron Motsoaledi as health minister and Angie Motshekga as basic education minister to ensure continuity in Cabinet.

But, the retention of other ministers, or their move to other important portfolios, did not bode well.

These included Thulas Nxesi, who stays on as public works minister, and Mildred Oliphant who retains her position as labour minister.

"In particular, the move of Tina Joemat-Petterson to the department of energy is lamentable," Zille said.

"Ms Joemat-Petterson performed very poorly as minister of agriculture, and does not deserve to serve in the executive."

Zuma's decision to expand his Cabinet was also labelled a bad move.

"What the government needs is a leaner, more effective administration, not an ever growing executive," Zille said.

"It is clear that these new positions have little to do with efficiency, and everything to do with solving the ANC's internal political problems at public expense."

Moving Pravin Gordhan to co-operative governance and traditional affairs would negatively affect international investor confidence.

"We hope that over the coming years minister Nhlanhla Nene will prove that he can get rising government debt levels under control and that he can instil a sense of fiscal discipline that has been lacking in recent years," Zille said.

"We hope that minister Gordhan will bring his trademark efficiency to the department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, which has underperformed for several years."

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InFocus

South Africa's New Cabinet Causes a Stir

Jacob Zuma is sworn in by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng for a second term as president of South Africa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The official opposition Democratic Alliance has said President Jacob Zuma's new Cabinet gives South Africans "little hope" that the country's problems will be tackled effectively. ... Read more »