Ramaphosa consulting Alliance partners ahead of cabinet announcement

President Cyril Ramaphosa giving his speech during his inauguration
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The Presidency says the work of government is continuing unhindered despite President Cyril Ramaphosa still having to announce his cabinet. It says Ramaphosa is still consulting with the African National Congress (ANC) and its alliance partners before announcing his executive.

Following his inauguration at the weekend, it was expected that he would name his ministers and their deputies on Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Khusela Diko says Heads of Departments are doing their work as usual.  Ramaphosa has stressed that his much-awaited cabinet will comprise people with requisite skills and commitment to public services that will serve the country.

After President Ramaphosa’s inauguration at the weekend, the focus is now on who will be included in his executive. Diko says the president will ensure his executive posses the necessary skills.

All eyes are on the president as he ponders on his new executive, speculation is rife that the new cabinet will be reduced from 70 to 50 ministers and their deputies. However, Ramaphosa is expected to give details on the reconfigured cabinet on the day of the announcement.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) says it expects a more consultative process and engagement with President Ramaphosa ahead of his much-awaited cabinet announcement later this week. Spokesperson Alex Mashilo says they have met with Ramaphosa, where they deliberated on how the SACP thinks the cabinet should look like.

He says they have alerted the president that he should consider people with the necessary skills and must make sure that the size of the cabinet is reduced and thus cut government expenditure.

“There were consultation processes followed and that has since been maintained and we expect consistent interactions at a secretarial level in the alliance as well as interactions, so that process is on-going on a wide range of issues, we are expecting that the on-coming process will not be concluded without the consultations taken into account,” says Mashilo.

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Another Alliance partner,  Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to make sure that his cabinet comprises individuals who have not been tainted in any wrongdoing. General Secretary Bheki NtshaliNtshali says furthermore from their call for a reduced cabinet, some departments should be merged in order to have an effective cabinet for the sixth administration.

Cosatu is holding its three-day Central Executive Committee, CEC meeting at Cosatu house in Johannesburg.

NtshaliNtshali has some suggestions on how cabinet should be reduced, There’s no logic of dividing Arts and Culture in our view it should be one department. We should be making one department in regard to water and sanitation and environmental affairs which was like that before. We think the department of labour must be renamed department of labour and employment because that is how it’s done in the world and it can also focus on job creation. So we make a number of proposals to the president in our engagement then reduce the size of the cabinet.

Congress of the People (Cope) spokesperson, Dennis Bloem says President Ramaphosa will have to shrink his cabinet. We want him to cut this cabinet and do away with Deputy Ministers. Corrupt individuals must not be appointed because this country cannot afford this corruption anymore. But we wish him well and we wish him all the wisdom for the future.

Meanwhile, ANC’s NEC is expected to meet later this week regarding previous deputy president, David Mabuza’s reported representations to the party’s integrity commission.  ANC Presidency had said last week that Mabuza requested a postponement of his swearing-in as an MP following an integrity commission report alleging that he had brought the party into disrepute.

Mabuza had wanted to make representations to the commission.

In another development, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan expressed shock last week over the timing of the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report into the Ivan Pillay pension matter. Gordhan had been tipped for another possible cabinet post. His lawyer Tebogo Malatji said Gordhan would immediately take the public protector’s report – that found him guilty of improper conduct on review.