ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, right, and his deputy, David Mabuza during the party’s 106th anniversary celebrations. Picture: REUTERS
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, right, and his deputy, David Mabuza during the party’s 106th anniversary celebrations. Picture: REUTERS

The ANC has commended President Cyril Ramaphosa’s consultation with the party’s national officials and its alliance partners ahead of his Monday night announcement on his Cabinet reshuffle.

Ramaphosa made 22 changes to the Cabinet in his first reshuffle, which included the return of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister, Pravin Gordhan as minister of public enterprises and ANC deputy president David Mabuza as his deputy in government. In the last few Cabinet reshuffles by former president Jacob Zuma, he was criticised for not consulting on his changes in Cabinet. This particularly angered the ANC’s alliance partners, Cosatu and the South African Communist Party (SACP).

"As the ANC, we particularly commend the president for having exercised this prerogative in consultation with the national officials of the ANC and our alliance partners. Undoubtedly, this act of giving due regard to the resolutions of the ANC, in the exercise of the prerogative bestowed upon the president, lays a strong foundation for greater alignment and cooperation between the ANC and its cadres deployed in government," the ANC said.

The ANC congratulated Mabuza as well the other appointed ministers and deputy ministers.

"We assure them of the organisation’s support in the execution of their duties. We extend our gratitude to all comrades who served in the immediate past Cabinet and are confident that they and their skills are not lost to the ANC. The ANC is confident that, as disciplined members of the organisation, they will continue to serve the movement and the people of SA in whatever capacity they are deployed."

The SACP said the intervention announced by Ramaphosa was an important step forward.

"The president’s restructuring of the Cabinet, as a welcome process, is in line with the call that the SACP and indeed large sections of our South African society have been making," it said.

"This time there was consultation within the alliance, as opposed to the previous era of what increasingly became authoritarian leadership and unilateral decision-making that undermined the alliance and ultimately the ANC," the SACP said in a statement.

The EFF rejected the Cabinet reshuffled.

"We view it as a mere realignment of corrupt and state capture delinquent ministers. No one‚ with the best interests of SA today‚ could have Malusi Gigaba‚ Nomvula Mokonyane‚ Bathabile Dlamini as Cabinet members and ministers."

"Dlamini has essentially been rewarded with a promotion into the presidency regardless of the fact that she nearly collapsed the social grants system for the poor. Above all is Gigaba‚ whose state capture crimes come close to treason as he facilitated the handing over of state institutions to a foreign nationals in the form of the Guptas.

"To keep such characters in the Cabinet is a direct rejection of the constitutional order; Gigaba lied under oath‚ in a court of law.

"Ramaphosa has bowed to factional pressure in the ANC, proving that he is presiding over a kleptocratic collective that cannot be saved. His inability to dispense with individuals implicated in corruption is evidence that no one can save [the] ANC from corruption. It is entangled for good."

Trade union federation Cosatu welcomed the Cabinet reshuffle but said the consultation process could have been handled better.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said Ramaphosa could have consulted more before making the changes.

"We would expect it to be more improved‚ because it’s not about telling us what he has decided‚ but it’s also what are the principles behind certain decisions — and the contribution that alliance partners can make‚" Dlamini told the SABC.

The DA said Ramaphosa’s announcement of his new Cabinet illustrated that the problem in the nation lay with the ANC itself. "The ministers who make up Ramaphosa’s compromised and partially captured Cabinet show what we’ve known all along — it’s about the ANC and connected cadres first‚ and the interests of SA second. The Cabinet remains filled with compromised ministers‚ Gupta loyalists‚ and corruption accused. The quicker we remove the ANC from government‚ the quicker our nation will reach its true potential.

"The decision to retain the bloated‚ oversized Cabinet means Ramaphosa has failed to seize this first opportunity to cut the size of Cabinet. We should not have to wait for a review study to cut the waste. If Ramaphosa cut the Cabinet to 15 ministries‚ we could have saved billions of rands and avoided a VAT hike altogether."

The party said the fatal compromise Ramaphosa made at Nasrec was now exposed for all to see‚ as Mabuza would be sworn in as the deputy president of SA. Ramaphosa’s decision to side with scandal-ridden Mabuza undermined the integrity of his stated commitment to fight corruption and rebuild from the tatters of the Zuma decade.

With Claudi Mailovich