Zuma changes cabinet faces to breathe new life to system


PRETORIA: (By Richard Nelson)– Seemingly as last ditch effort, President Jacob Zuma has started restructuring cabinet by axing three ministers to revamp government efficiency and governance. The move is learnt to eat more ministers.

With the reshuffling of national cabinet, Communications Minister Dina Pule, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi were shown the exit door.

President Zuma announced a number of various changes to the national executive, declaring that “democracy in South Africa had revolutionized the lives of South Africans” and that the past five years “has pushed that change onward”.

The new Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs will be Lechesa Tsenoli. He replaces Richard Baloyi, who served in the ministry after the death of Sicelo Shiceka. Tsenoli will be leaving his current portfolio as  deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform.

The Human Settlements portfolio also sees a change. The ministry will now fall under the leadership of Connie September, while the new Minister of Communications will be Yunus Carrim.

September is currently a Member of Parliament and Member of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry and Portfolio Committee on Water Affairs and Forestry. Carrim is currently the Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. Transport Minister Ben Martins will move to Energy, while Minister Dipuo Peters moves to Transport.

The Deputy Minister appointments are Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development – John Jefferey (currently a Parliamentary Counsellor), deputy Minister of Science and Technology – Michael Masutha (currently a Member of Parliament), deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs  – Andries Nel; and deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform – Pamela Tshwete (currently a Member of Parliament).

“We thank the outgoing Ministers for their contribution in taking the work of government forward and creating a better life for all. We wish all incoming members of the National Executive all the best in their new portfolios,” said President Zuma.

However, Democratic Alliance has said that President Jacob Zuma should have put good governance above “cronyism”.  ”The reality is that this Cabinet reshuffle by President Zuma proves that he is more interested in his political survival than ensuring that good governance is his top priority,” Democratic Alliance Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said in a statement.

“This is symbolic of a President who lacks the leadership needed to deliver on his government’s promises,” she said.

However, it saw little sense in axing Sexwale while Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu remained.

“This should have been an opportunity for the President of the Republic to stamp out poor governance, which has been the mainstay of his administration, and replace all poor performing ministers with competent and dedicated individuals,” she said.

“Instead, President Zuma seems determined to keep in the executive ministers who should have got the sack some time ago.”

Mazibuko said the DA remained determined to move a motion of no confidence in Zuma, and said the problem remained at the top.

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