Ramaphosa played his cards wisely in reshuffle

Enoch Godongwana being sworn in as the minister of finance on August 6 2021.
Enoch Godongwana being sworn in as the minister of finance on August 6 2021.
Image: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Speculations about a cabinet reshuffle have been rife for some time, but many commentators did not fully understand and appreciate the inner workings of the ANC where consensus plays a vital role. Ironically our history, in which the ANC was conceived, helped shape this approach.

Furthermore the president, who does not have a broad power base, had to play his cards strategically and patiently given the opposing factions within the ANC. On top of that he has to manage a diverse, unequal and divided country.

The fact that he inherited his cabinet from his predecessor has been a further complicating and inhibiting factor. Ironically two disasters, the pandemic and the recent violence and looting, provided him with the opportunity to display his leadership skills and strengthened his hand.

The announcement was partially necessitated by vacancies and recognition of the needs and challenges facing us now. It includes a surprisingly wide range of appointments and realignment of certain departments.

The focus on security, placing the responsibility within the presidency, is to be welcomed in view of the lack of timeous information about the recent violence and looting. Given the diverse interests represented in our country, the reshuffle will of course not please everybody.

However, the reshuffle has been long overdue and is to be welcomed. There has also been a welcome focus on relevant experience in new appointments. It will restore some confidence and optimism about the road ahead. President Ramaphosa's strength lies in his strategic thinking, his patience and negotiating skills. All of these skills have been in play in this cabinet reshuffle and allowed him to consolidate his position.

Dawie Jacobs, Sterrewag, Pretoria

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