NATIONAL NEWS - The appointment of the deputy president and ministers to form the nation’s new cabinet had been the first real test for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “cleanup” and tough stance on corruption, the DA has said, but they do not believe he has passed it.
In a statement, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said: “Unfortunately, Ramaphosa placed the internal factional interests of the ANC ahead of the interests of the people of South Africa.
“At a time of great expectation of renewal and change, Ramaphosa instead chose the survival of the ANC over the future of the country. Ramaphosa chose to appoint comprised individuals such as David Mabuza as deputy president, Fikile Mbalula as minister of transport and Gwede Mantashe as minister of mineral resources [and energy].”
Maimane said there would be no “new dawn”.
“While 10 million South Africans are unemployed, the president’s cabinet choice shows he has no new ideas, nor new personnel, to address the country’s job crisis.”
He called the cabinet “a negotiated settlement between factions”.
“With a slight reduction to the size of the cabinet – at 28 members – Ramaphosa has shown that he, like his predecessors, has used cabinet to reward loyal cadres within the ANC. Cutting a few ministers while adding more deputy ministers will not fool the people of South Africa. Presented with a fresh opportunity to create his own cabinet, he chose the ANC’s survival over the people of South Africa.”
He said nearly R5 billion each year would be saved if Ramaphosa had cut the cabinet to just 15 ministers, as the DA was calling for.
Maimane called for lifestyle audits for the entire cabinet, as the DA-led Western Cape government had recently announced. He also wanted to see VIP protection for all cabinet members slashed.
Ramaphosa announced last night that each minister would have to sign a performance contract, but Maimane wants each “performance management contract for cabinet ministers brought before parliament for oversight before the relevant portfolio committee”.
He said the DA would soon have its own so-called shadow cabinet, a tradition for opposition parties in many democracies.
“As I have said on many times before, when the president serves to put the country and citizens first, he will find support across the floor in parliament.”
Many analysts reacted with surprise on Wednesday night to the news that former senior DA member Patricia de Lille had been appointed to the cabinet as a minister. She now leads her own party, GOOD, and is the only opposition member in cabinet.
One reaction was that it may have been done partly to “irritate” the DA and erode its support in the Eastern and Western Cape.