South Africa: Ramaphosa Did What He Was Expected to Do - ANC 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.

The ANC's alliance partners, labour federation Cosatu and the South African Communist Party (SACP), have praised President Cyril Ramaphosa for consulting with them ahead of the announcement of his executive for the 6 th administration.

Ramaphosa announced a leaner Cabinet at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday evening, giving major appointments to young people and selecting women to take up 50% of the executive.

He appointed former ANC Youth League deputy president Ronald Lamola as Minister of Justice, while David Masondo was given the role of Deputy Minister of Finance, serving under Tito Mboweni.

The labour federation's president Zingiswa Losi, said while Cosatu was happy to have participated in the process, it was time to hit the ground running.

"Now it is about the work that must happen and we believe those appointed, are appointed on the basis of their capability, their experience and the fact that we have always maintained we want to see young people given space to lead," she said.

Losi said Ramaphosa's appointment of young people meant the ANC could interface better in the world, showing that it had its own young, energetic and experienced leaders.

The SACP also expressed gratitude at being included in the consultation process.

Previously, the ANC's allies claimed former president Jacob Zuma stopped engaging them throughout the previous dispensation and many alleged that he only consulted his close associates, the Guptas. The controversial family was accused of using their relationship with Zuma to loot South Africa.

But, after Wednesday's announcement, the SACP remarked: "The president has matched his words with his deeds. He has indeed walked the talk. This important attribute should be the defining feature of his leadership and that of every member of the executive, as well as deputy ministers, throughout this term of office."

It not only welcomed the new appointments but also the reduction of ministries from 36 to 28, saying that it should be seen by all South Africans as a transformation of the state that would promote "selfless and effective service to the people".

In a statement after the Cabinet announcement, the SACP said it was the time to turn South Africa around.

It reflected on the country's past, saying it was "pushed to the brink" by corruption in both the state and the private sector.

The communist party urged Ramaphosa and his new executive to implement programmes to eliminate race, gender, class and spatial development inequalities.

"The importance of systematically lifting the poor out of poverty and pioneering decent work to radically reduce unemployment and secure workers' rights cannot be overemphasised," the party said.

The ANC itself, through its secretary general Ace Magashule, also welcomed the new executive and said Ramaphosa did what he was expected to do in selecting his diverse group of leaders and giving young people a chance to lead.

He told journalists at the Union Buildings that the outcomes were a result of extensive consultations and engagements with Ramaphosa and the ANC's allies.

"As you can see, we have looked at leaders of different things, generational mix, experience, continuity, younger blood... ," said Magashule.

He refused to comment on the appointment of Pravin Gordhan, who had been implicated in a Public Protector report relating to an early pension payout to Ivan Pillay during his tenure as commissioner as the South African Revenue Service. Gordhan retained his position of public enterprises minister.

ANC Women's League president Bathabile Dlamini was criticised by the Constitutional Court over the her handling of the Sassa debacle, which affected grant beneficiaries.

Source: News24

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