Time over for 'sleeping, old people': Mbalula demands youthful cabinet
President Ramaphosa has no choice but to make changes to executive, says new ANC secretary-general
Newly elected ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula believes a cabinet reshuffle is imminent after the party's national elective conference.
Mbalula told media at Luthuli House in Johannesburg he is convinced President Cyril Ramaphosa is considering changes to his cabinet and failure to do so would be “reckless”.
With just over a year before what is expected to be the most important national and provincial elections for the ANC, the party needs ministers and deputy ministers who are “workhorses”, he said.
Mbalula said he and other senior ANC leaders would demand that the cabinet include youthful members to inspire confidence in the electorate.
The time for “old people”, often caught on parliament TV taking naps, was over.
In keeping with his moniker “vutha” (fire), which he earned during his ANC Youth League days, Mbalula pulled no punches but stopped short of saying those in the cabinet who have reached retirement age must be axed.
“We come from conference, there are a number of issues the president has to consider as the head of cabinet. He does not have to go full-blown reshuffle, but even before conference there where vacancies in the cabinet and he has to think about that. If he does not think about that, he is reckless,” he said.
“After consultation the president will make an announcement.
“What we do not want is people who are not going to deliver. We do not want incompetence — that is non-negotiable. We want people who are going to do the work. We want a gender-sensitive government, a government that is youthful, that is running.
“We do not want people sleeping on the job. If the president is going to come with sleepers, he must forget [about] our support. There we are not going to agree.
We are one year to the national elections. There are posts in government that must be filled and if the president wants to go beyond that, it is up to him — but we want a functioning governmentFikile Mbalula, ANC secretary-general
“We are one year to the national elections. There are posts in government that must be filled and if the president wants to go beyond that, it is up to him — but we want a functioning government.”
Mbalula said the ANC was focused on organising a successful second leg of the 55th national elective conference, which continues on Thursday and Friday in a hybrid manner.
The conference was adjourned in December without finalisation of resolutions due to cost implications that would have come with an extension at the expensive Johannesburg Expo Centre in Nasrec.
The nerve centre of the second leg this week will be Imvelo Lodge in Mangaung, in the Free State, where the party will also prepare for its 111th anniversary celebrations on Sunday.
Credentials for delegates will remain unchanged from those at Nasrec last month.
Each province is expected to pick up the bill for their delegates.
After a scare that the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein may not be ready for the birthday rally on Sunday, Mbalula said all was in order.
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