manuel in, moleketi out

Robert Laing

Robert Laing

While the markets cheered Trevor Manuel's reappointment as Minster of Finance, it is not yet known who is to replace his deputy Jabu Moleketi.

Conspicuously absent in the list of appointments read by incoming President Kgalema Motlanthe yesterday was who would be the new deputy finance minister, whose responsibilities include the 2010 World Cup budget.

Moleketi's resignation was originally issued along with Manuel's, leading to the assumption it too was a formality and Moleketi would be open to reappointment under the new administration.

Yesterday morning, however, the finance ministry issued a statement saying Moleketi really was resigning.

Motlanthe also reappointed Minister of Trade and Industry Mandisi Mpahlwa along with his deputy Rob Davies.

Though many were hoping that Alec Erwin would be ousted as Minister of Public Enterprises after the Eskom crisis, Brigitte Mabandla's track record as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development makes Motlanthe's decision here controversial.

Motlanthe reassured markets that no drastic policy changes were in the pipeline.

"Mine is not the desire to deviate from what is working. It is not for me to reinvent policy. Nor do I intend to reshape either Cabinet or the public service.

"We will not allow the work of government to be interrupted. We will not allow the stability of our democratic order to be compromised.

"Therefore, we stand here to send out a message that government remains on course to deliver on its commitments to the poor, who rely on us daily for the fulfilment of their basic needs and for the provision of important services like health, education and social security. We remain on course to halve unemployment and poverty by 2014."

He continued: "In a turbulent global economy, we will remain true to the policies that have kept South Africa steady and that have ensured sustained growth. We will intensify the all-round effort to accelerate the rate of growth and job creation and ensure that the benefits of growth are equally shared by all our people."