Cosatu lambasts Ramaphosa for ‘recycling’ ministers

01 March 2018 - 14:50 By Neo Goba
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President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

The Congress of South African Trade Unions‚ which backed President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Jacob Zuma as ANC leader at the party's elective conference in December‚ has lambasted him for "recycling" the same ministers in his cabinet reshuffle on Monday.

Speaking on Thursday following Cosatu’s three-day central executive committee (CEC) meeting which concluded on Wednesday‚ Cosatu secretary general Bheki Ntshalintshali said Ramaphosa should have aimed for competency.

"In our engagement with the president in terms of the cabinet reshuffle‚ we raised the issue of competence‚ that people appointed to cabinet‚ the question of competency‚ the question of leadership‚ the question of generation mix‚ experience and all those issues… we clearly indicated that we are totally opposed to recycling of ministers who are failing‚" said Ntshalintshali.

This follows Ramaphosa's first cabinet reshuffle which saw ten ministers who were directly linked to Zuma axed.

However‚ Ramaphosa brought back former cabinet ministers who were fired by Zuma‚ which was seen by many as spiting the former president. He also moved some to other portfolios and appointed former Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza as his deputy.

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe‚ who made his debut in government this week‚ has been brought in as the Minister of Mineral Resources‚ SACP leader Blade Nzimande is brought back as Transport Minister‚ Bheki Cele as Minister of Police and Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma returns to the Cabinet after some years as the new Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning‚ Monitoring and Evaluation.

Ramaphosa has moved Malusi Gigaba back to Home Affairs‚ Jeff Radebe to Energy‚ Lindiwe Sisulu to International Relations‚ Nomvula Mokonyane to the Department of Communications and Naledi Pandor to Higher Education. ANC Women's League president Bathabile Dlamini is moved to the portfolio of Minister of Women in the Presidency‚ in a straight swap with Susan Shabangu‚ who will now head the Social Development department.

ANC NEC member Derek Hanekom‚ who was axed by Zuma after he became the first person to table a motion of no confidence in the firmer president‚ goes back to Tourism‚ while former ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize takes over the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs portfolio‚ replacing Des Van Rooyen‚ who was implicated in the State of Capture report.

"We did not engage on the basis of faces first‚ it is based on the principle and we say therefore people who qualify who come from the Cosatu fold who qualify and the president said‚ 'this comrade meets the requirements of taking this country forward'. And if we approach in that particular context‚ we will be free to release those people and say‚ 'indeed you will put our country first instead of putting the federation first or an individual’‚" said Ntshalintshali.

Ntshalintshali added that those ministers who have been brought back to the Cabinet‚ will have to make a difference in their contribution to the interests as a whole.

Meanwhile Cosatu leader‚ S'dumo Dlamini‚ said they expected the president to announce a decreased cabinet but accepted that it wouldn't be an immediate step‚ as a lot of factors needed to be considered before doing so.

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