TOM EATON: New cabinet is the tractor that can drag SA out of the mess
Given the circumstances we’re all aware of, and the fires he continues to fight, Ramaphosa’s cabinet seems to be a solid compromise
If you were disappointed by Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet, or still aren’t sure what to think, here’s a simple thought experiment. Just imagine that Nasrec had gone the other way, and that instead of being minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was the president of the republic, and that you were now watching the value of your savings evaporate faster than the EFF’s current account after a defamation case.
Of course, “it could be worse” isn’t that useful as a yardstick. But given the circumstances we’re all aware of, and the fires he continues to fight, Ramaphosa’s cabinet seems to be a solid compromise. We who are impatient for change might be disappointed. We want a government that is a freight train, gathering speed and starting to rattle along towards meaningful growth, renewal and social cohesion. But that would ignore the hole we’re in. Right now, we need a tractor – messy, noisy, and a little bit dirty – to drag us out. And this might be that tractor.
Still, there are some glaring weak points. Whatever offer David Mabuza made Ramaphosa, it must have been one he couldn’t refuse. Phillip de Wet, writing in Business Insider, perfectly summed up another shocker by pointing out that the people put in charge of solving the country’s jobs crisis are “one minister who tried to cover up Nkandla and one who helped try to sell Denel to the Guptas”.