South Africa: Mabuza 'Hangs Around Ramaphosa's Neck Like an Albatross' - FF Plus Reacts to New Cabinet

Deputy President David Mabuza, foreground left, and President Cyril Ramaphosa, foreground right, along with Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Directors- General and Senior Government officials at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House for the Extended Cabinet Meeting.

Freedom Front Plus leader Dr Pieter Groenewald said the party was "overall" satisfied with President Cyril Ramaphosa's new Cabinet, but pointed out that the president failed to meaningfully scale down the "puffed up" deputy ministerial component and deal with the "continued presence of Deputy President David Mabuza".

"A smaller Cabinet, as promised, which will inspire investor confidence and an honest attempt to get rid of rotten apples from the previous dispensation, such as [former ministers] Bathabile Dlamini and Nomvula Mokonyane, are the positive aspects," Groenewald added.

"The negative, is the continued presence of Deputy President David Mabuza who hangs around the president's neck like an albatross," he continued.

He added the party was not satisfied that enough fat had been trimmed off the unwieldy Cabinet.

While the FF Plus was "satisfied with the reduction of the Cabinet from 36 ministries to just 28, this could be reduced further as there were only 26 ministries in 2004 under former president Thabo Mbeki."

Groenewald added that "as for deputy ministers, the situation is virtually unchanged. In the previous term, there were 35 deputy ministers, and this was reduced by only one to 34. So there are now six more deputy ministers as ministers, as in some ministries two deputies were placed."

"The deputy ministerial component is therefore still puffed up and it is unfortunate that the president failed to make meaningful scaling down here."

The leader of the fifth biggest political party in South Africa, that saw a dramatic and - to some - surprising upsurge in support during the May 8 general elections, said there were some surprises in Wednesday's Cabinet announcement.

"Surprises are the appointment of Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille and the absence of veteran ANC politician Derek Hanekom," he said.

On the plus side, the party sees the retention of ministers Tito Mboweni and Pravin Gordhan as beneficial.

"Their presence will send out positive signals to potential investors and rating agencies on investor opportunities in South Africa. How successful this message will be is in the hands of the relevant ministers.

"The appointment of Thoko Didiza as Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development is also welcomed. She has previous experience and has shown she is competent for the portfolio," Groenewald said.

"The FF Plus is overall satisfied with the Cabinet, but can assure the public of South Africa that government and all the ministers' performance[s] will be closely monitored."

Source: News24

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