Pres Ramaphosa announces his first cabinet reshuffle

Henri Uys
On 26 February, President Cyril Ramaphosa made changes to his cabinet. This was Pres. Ramaphosa’s first cabinet reshuffle since taking office on 15 February.

During a live address to the nation, Pres. Ramaphosa said, “These changes are intended to ensure that National Government is better equipped to continue implementing the mandate of this administration and specifically the tasks identified in the State of the National Address. In making these changes, I’ve been very conscious of the need to balance continuity and stability for the need for renewal, economic recovery and accelerated growth in our country.”

Speaking to eNCA journalist, Annika Larsen, the following morning, Pres. Ramaphosa described his cabinet as “transitional”. Pres. Ramaphosa said, “It is the Cabinet that will take us to the next elections. That's how people should see it, and it is a very strong Cabinet. It takes into account the strengths we have in government and we have some really good people. I'd like to give them a chance and give them an opportunity. I'm hoping... they will take us forward.”

During the announcement, Pres. Ramaphosa also appointed David Mabuza as the Deputy President of the Republic.

Dr. Mabutho Shangase, a lecturer in the Political Sciences Department at UP, said, “My take is that the appointment of Dr Naledi Pandor is to instil confidence in the higher education sector in general. She is a seasoned politician, astute academic, and professional who is familiar with issues of higher education, science and technology, as well as knowledge production in general. She is also a reliable candidate for efficient delivery and attendance to the most pressing issues within the sector e.g. redress in terms of building a critical mass of African academics and responding to the low output on Ph.D.’s and the problem of aging academics.”

Dr. Shangase added, “Nhanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan are trusted and respected professionals respectively, continuity and stability are required at the National Treasury, the engine room of our economy. Eskom is the backbone of our economy, thus a seasoned professional such as Mr Gordhan is best suited to ensure that the utility delivers on its mandate and returns to its credit worthy status in terms of their finances.”

Dr. Shangase also commented on reducing the number of departments in government. “Questions should be raised about the departments of Economic Development, Women, Small Business, perhaps the latter should be incorporated into the Department of Trade and Industry, whilst Women should be incorporated into Social Development.”



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