Time to chop deadwood in the cabinet, Mr President

President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks to the media while visiting a shopping centre which was damaged after several days of looting following the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma in Durban.
President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks to the media while visiting a shopping centre which was damaged after several days of looting following the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma in Durban.
Image: Rogan Ward

Since he assumed power, President Cyril Ramaphosa is yet to reshuffle his cabinet. Even when the opportunity presents itself for him to reshuffle, he doesn’t. What’s holding him back? There is no easy answer.

As things stand, there are two vacant cabinet positions. They are that of minister in the presidency and minister of health. The former became vacant when then minister Jackson Mthembu passed on. The latter, Zweli Mkhize, has been suspended for alleged corruption. The indication is that he is guilty.

Since the above positions are vacant, there are two ministers (of small business and that of tourism) acting in these positions. So demanding are these positions that the acting ministers are overstretched. As a result, they are compromising their portfolios.

The other issue is that of deputy ministers. They cannot act because they are not cabinet members. The deputy minister of health is a medical doctor by profession and competent, but he can’t act. This needs to be reconsidered. Why can't a deputy minister act?

That said, there is a lot of deadwood in the cabinet. Angie Motshekga is a typical example. And the president knows it. These individuals are not adding value to their ministries. Instead, they are impeding the growth and development of the country. In fact, they are just cheque collectors.

It is a well-known fact that the president has no choice but to reshuffle the cabinet. But he is moving very slowly, if at all. Is he still applying his mind, as he usually does? He has had enough time to do that. Let him reshuffle the cabinet. Now.

Thabile Mange, Mogale City


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