'Zuma doesn't dilly-dally'

The ANC says the reshuffle will enhanced the functionality of government.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma's cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday is an indication of his decisiveness, the ANC's Jackson Mthembu said on Wednesday.

Mthembu says the reshuffle will enhance the functionality of government.

"This is again an indication of the decisiveness of our President. When the need arises to change cabinet our President doesn't dilly-dally. Indeed he acts in accordance with the courage of his conviction."

While ANC alliance partners Cosatu have welcomed the changes, opposition parties including the Democratic Alliance (DA), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and Agang have questioned why more controversial ministers weren't targeted.

The President has been criticised for retaining Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

Zuma axed controversial Communications Minister Dina Pule and Human Settlement's Minister Tokyo Sexwale as well as Cooperative Governance Minister Richard Baloyi.

Tuesday's move could be seen as an 11th hour bid to improve service delivery and shows how serious he is about fighting corruption ahead of the 2014 general elections.

Five new ministers and four new deputies will be sworn in later today.

BOOSTING HIS IMAGE

Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni says he's not surprised Pule and Sexwale are out and says reshuffles are about much more than just improving service delivery.

"It is about political support and proximity as well as performance and alignment."

Amanda Gouws, a political analyst from Stellenbosch University, says the reshuffle is a mere attempt to boost the President's image.

"It asks the question why Motshekga, Joemat-Peterson and Shabangu are still there?"

Meanwhile, Wits University professor Susan Booysen told Eyewitness News the appointment of Connie September as the new Human Settlement's Minister is an effort to appease the Tripartite Alliance.

"I certainly think both the alliance partners are being played here. It's the run-up time to elections and it's very important to please Cosatu in several ways. September is a straight union stalwart, she has been involved in government for a long period of time."

Booysen added that she isn't surprised Motshekga wasn't dropped from cabinet.

"Angie is certainly in the league of the very loyal and she brings in the Women's League. What's probably the most worrying thing about the cabinet is that a person like that with obvious faults has not been changed."

DIFFICULT TASKS AHEAD

September says she knows she has one of the most difficult jobs in the country.

She says she is well aware of the challenges that now lie in front of her.

"Housing is one of the very challenging areas in South Africa. Many of our people are still waiting for houses, security and comfort."

She admits she was surprised to get the call from the President.

"You start off your day with a task you were busy performing and you end off the day with a completely new one."

She says she knows people are waiting for her to help them.

Meanwhile, newly appointed Communications Minister Yunus Carrim says the country has no choice but to work towards dramatically improving internet broadband access and increasing internet speeds.

He said while he is not a technical specialist about broadband communications, these issues need to be addressed.

"I don't understand all the technical hurdles that have to be overcome but I will hopefully get up to speed relatively soon."

He says the country can't carry on as it has been.

"The country needs it, the economy needs it and if we are going to effect the National Development Plan (NDP), what choice do we have but to do what we have been planning to do for a while."

Carrim says he is also a trained journalist which he hopes will help him in his new role.