President leads women empowerment

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: Alon Skuy

If President Cyril Ramaphosa had his way, he wouldn’t have appointed certain ministers and deputy ministers to his cabinet, especially those who are loyal to former president Jacob Zuma.

Ramaphosa appointed them in the name of unity.

That said, the president has shown commitment to women empowerment. He also has the knack of identifying talented and competent females. He has exhibited that by appointing women who are able and capable.

When the director-general in the presidency, Dr Cassius Baloyi, retired, Ramaphosa appointed Phindile Baleni to fill that position. Baleni, the former DG in the office of the Gauteng premier, is a well respected technocrat. Her appointment was welcomed by many.

Early this year, Covid-19 claimed the life of the minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu. The president then elected the minister of small business, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, to act in the position.

Ntshavheni is articulate, witty and full of energy. She has stamped her authority in that position. As a result, she has earned the nickname of “de facto prime minister”. Many wish the president can appoint her full time in that position. Her future in politics looks bright.

A month or so ago, the president suspended the minister of health, Dr Zweli Mkhize. The minister is accused of giving his alleged friends (who own Digital Vibes) a tender in his department and paying them an exorbitant amount. His matter has been referred to the National Prosecuting Authority.

In Mkhize’s position, Ramaphosa has since appointed the minister of tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, to act as a minister of health. That position is demanding amid the Covid-19 challenge. Kubayi-Ngubane is not a medical doctor and has no experience in health, however, she’s doing a sterling job.

In this country, politicians mostly pay lip service to women empowerment. The president deserves praise for appointing young and competent women to his cabinet. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Thabile Mange, Mogale City

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