President Ramaphosa questioned why he created a super cabinet in the Presidency

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has been quizzed about the real reason why he created a super cabinet in the Presidency. He was questioned by a Democratic Alliance (DA) member of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Dennis Ryder, during his oral reply session.

Ryder highlighted three reasons which he says might have triggered Ramaphosa to create another cabinet under his watch. Ryder says it’s even more worrying that there is no oversight by a committee of the National Assembly or the NCOP over the new Electricity Minister in the Presidency.

He asked Ramaphosa to state whether lack of trust is one of the three reasons that he has centralised power in his Presidency.

“So, the first is that you don’t trust your cabinet to work according to your expectations you need to keep a close eye on them. The second reason is that you don’t trust the Leader of Government Business, Mr Paul Mashatile and I’ll admit that probably shows good judgment. But the last option sir is that you fear scrutiny and the Ministers that are being brought under your Presidency, under your umbrella, it doesn’t give any portfolio committee in the National Assembly or select committee in the National Council of Provinces any oversight over these Minister in the work that they do. And this is especially worrying that we see the Minister of Electricity that’s now operating without oversight.”

‘I trust my ministers’  

In response, Ramaphosa brushes off the claims that he has centralised power in the Presidency for any of the three reasons stated by Ryder.

“How about option four? And that is the option that I have gone for. To make sure that we work more effectively and serve the people of South Africa much better than we have. It’s not a process of centralising power. No, it’s not even driven by that. It’s not even driven by the fact that I don’t trust Ministers. I trust the Minister. And I trust the Leader of Government Business. And that’s why he is appointed to that position. The oversight issue, there is oversight and part of what I’m doing now is precisely that. That I stand here and you ask me questions and I answer written questions and oral questions. So, there is an oversight. So there is nothing that is taking place hidden under some table and it’s a process of creating a much more capable state.”