Reaction to Cabinet

Dr Pieter Mulder

The SACP members in Cabinet have largely retained their positions and some have also been promoted. Most of the senior members of the SACP are presently ministers or deputy ministers. This confirms the ideological shift to the left in Cabinet which correlates with the President’s comments that a more radical phase of the socio-economic transformation will now follow. Against this background, it is a huge mistake and it is sending out a totally wrong signal to the financial sector, to remove the dependable minister Pravin Gordhan from the portfolio of finance minister.

The establishment of a propaganda ministry under which the SABC will resort does not predict anything good for the future. During this election we have already encountered the large scale abuse of state funds and facilities in an attempt to promote the ANC as a political party. With such a ministry, less division between the state and political party should be expected with a ministry as this – more so as the SABC will now fall under that department. This move will undoubtedly largely infringe upon the independence of the SABC.

Noticeable as well is the fact that the two parliamentary members who had seen to it that the Nkandla report was shelved before the election, have both been rewarded while Max Sisulu, the former Speaker, has been punished and has not been given any post. Both Mr. Buti Manamela and Luwellyn Landers, who on behalf of the ANC served on the Nkandla parliamentary committee, have been promoted.

It is further meaningful that the new minister of Agriculture, Senzeni Zokwana, is also the chairperson of the SACP and was the president of NUM until recently with the controversial Bheki Cele as deputy minister. May the importance of agriculture for food security and future stability be realised and may agriculture and commercial farmers not be an ideological punching bag for the next five years.

Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment as deputy president puts him in line to become the next president. This is positive because there are many rumours that the president wanted to prevent Ramaphosa from succeeding him by appointing a second deputy president. The huge task will rest on the shoulders of Mr. Ramaphosa to try and implement the NDP in opposition to the resistance of the SACP members in the Cabinet.


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