Now for Ramaphosa’s real test – a new Cabinet, says analyst


Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa now needs to act on appointing a new Cabinet. For the last week, he has acted as a virtual “lone ranger” in shifting sentiment and projecting an image of renewal.

But at the same time, his lone voice is undermined by a number of Cabinet ministers who not only have performed poorly, but at best presided over their extended portfolios while malfeasance has occurred, economic political analyst Daniel Silke told Fin24 on Friday.

He said that these ministers have, either by errors of omission or commission, been complicit in the degradation of the state and simultaneous institutional damage.

“For this reason, and for Ramaphosa to retain his credible first week in office, a substantial clean-out is required. He cannot be seen to be countenancing the dysfunction of the past by retaining ministers complicit in it.”

Silke said the Zuma era was not just one mired in controversy around the former president. “It was an era in which dismal oversight and ethical decline affected a number of ministries. For this reason, now is the time to act.”

South African voters as well as domestic and foreign investors have a common interest in seeing the return or appointment of respected figures to positions like the Finance Ministry, Public Enterprises and the Department of Mineral and Energy, he said.

According to Silke Ramaphosa really now has to act timeously to extend his vision of renewal to real action in appointing new political heads. As this procedure unfolds, the appointment of new directors general and other senior bureaucrats in underperforming ministries will be required. And flushing out a raft of ministerial advisers whose broad philosophies undermine economic growth will be required.

“It’s now time for President Ramaphosa to act – and extend the goodwill created beyond just him. And fortunately, there is no shortage of a talent pool from which to choose, within the ambit of the public service and even from outside.

“This is Ramaphosa’s first real test – maintaining the momentum through a smartly-selected Cabinet. Anything short will be a disappointment.”

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