IFP national spokesperson and Member of Parliament, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, says there is no "new dawn" and has compared President Cyril Ramaphosa's Cabinet selection to playing a game of musical chairs with the executive while his counterpart in African Transformation Movement (ATM), Mandisa Mashiya, has called it a "cosmetic manoeuvre to create the appearance of change while the underlying operations remain intact and are consolidated".
In a statement released on behalf of the party, Hlengwa said: "We welcome the reduction in the size of the Cabinet and we are hopeful that we may forge meaningful and constructive dialogue in finding active solutions to the struggles we face as a nation with the executive."
Mashiya, on behalf of ATM, stated: "The reduced Cabinet has no material impact on the lives of ordinary people. Of real importance is whether the development and transformation mandate will be carried out by this executive."
Ramaphosa kept his promise of reducing the size of the Cabinet and government departments, trimming down the number of ministers from 36 to 28. The size of the government increased dramatically under former president Jacob Zuma.
Hlengwa said, "We welcome some new and vibrant ministers and we wish them well in their term, in particular, with regard to the reconfigured economics cluster and the justice cluster in particular."
Fin24 earlier reported on the reconfiguration of the economic cluster and the aspects of it that remained unchanged. Particularly noteworthy, was the retention of ministers Tito Mboweni and Pravin Gordhan in their portfolios.
Ronald Lamola, who has two master's degrees in law, is expected to infuse vibrancy and youthful vigour into the justice cluster as the new Minister of Justice and Correctional Services.
ATM also welcomed changes to the gender and age profile of the Cabinet with Mashiya stating: "The ATM welcomes the gender parity and the youth representation of this Cabinet."
Hlengwa continued that his party "is mindful of the fact that the president has chosen to put the ANC before the country, and he has neglected to choose South Africa above the ANC, when it comes to recycling members of the executive as it appears musical chairs became the norm".
"We certainly hope that the Cabinet will act in the best interests of our country and not in the interests of the elite and select few which have benefited over the past few decades from state control," Hlengwa added before wishing the executive well.
Echoing sentiments from the IFP, ATM's Mashiya said: "The president will have his legacy largely drawn by his Cabinet appointments, comprised of his inner circle, as had been expected, and big business considerations" before adding: "The ATM expresses disappointment on the appointment of Gordhan despite the adverse Public Protector report. This does not bode well for a president that has taken the oath of office to obey, respect, and defend the Constitution."