Are Fikile Mbalula and Zizi Kodwa headed for cabinet?

24 November 2018 - 13:43 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
President Cyril Ramaphosa has given the strongest hint yet that Fikile Mbalula (pictured left) could be headed back to the cabinet.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has given the strongest hint yet that Fikile Mbalula (pictured left) could be headed back to the cabinet.
Image: Masi Losi/Sunday Times

President Cyril Ramaphosa has given the strongest hint yet that Zizi Kodwa might get his big break into the cabinet after elections next year while Fikile Mbalula might make a return in what appears to be a drive to infuse young blood into the executive.

This comes after Ramaphosa appointed a relatively young Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams as minister of communications, telecommunications and postal services this week.

Ramaphosa hinted about the possible inclusion of Kodwa and Mbalula in his cabinet on Friday night during an ANC Peoples Manifesto engagement with the creative arts industry in Parktown, Johannesburg, where musicians, actors, filmmakers, designers told him about their struggles.

"I was appointed into the presidency (by the ANC), Nathi Mthethwa was appointed (to the ministry of arts and culture) and (Fikile) Mbalula had been appointed to the police but I fired him...I pulled him out for another task but he will go back, " said Ramaphosa.

"And another one who has never tasted being appointed to cabinet is this one (Kodwa) but he will be in soon."

Ramaphosa urged people in the creative arts sector to actively participate in politics and campaign for the ANC if they wished to get to parliament and government to represent their industry.

Among other things the artists urged Ramaphosa to look at was the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the arts industry, but Ramaphosa shot down the idea immediately at the advice of minister Mthethwa who said there had been one before.

But piece of advice Ramaphosa welcomed warmly was that he should merge the department of arts and culture with that of sport and recreations.

He said this was in line with his pledge to make the cabinet slimmer,  promising that he would put the advice into action after the general polls.

Ramaphosa further agreed that the department of arts was under-funded, promising that things would change for the better when it was merged with sports.

The president told the artists that they played a critical role in nation building and social cohesion.

However, he also urged them to join in his drive to grow the economy, saying the industry had the potential to be a major economic player as had become the case in developed countries such as the US.

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