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Ramaphosa says new Cabinet 'a transitional one'

When asked if he had to make compromises, President Ramaphosa said: “No, no, no. This is a transitional Cabinet that is going to take us to the next elections.”

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa arriving for the ANC NEC special meeting. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

CAPE TOWN – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new Cabinet was a transitional one to take the country to next elections due mid-2019, he told reporters in Parliament on Tuesday, after Monday night’s Cabinet reshuffle.

“It’s a Cabinet that takes into account the various strengths we’ve got in government. ... I‘m hoping and believing that they will take us forward.”

When asked if he had to make compromises, Ramaphosa said: “No, no, no. This is a transitional Cabinet that is going to take us to the next elections.”

A new deputy president, new and returning ministers are set to be sworn in today after Ramaphosa's shake-up of his Cabinet.

In a late-night address, Ramaphosa appointed African National Congress (ANC) Deputy President David Mabuza as his second in command.

But there were also some surprise moves and some widely welcomed appointments after days of speculation.

While Ramaphosa's new Cabinet has been met with mixed reaction from the opposition and some civil society groups, some of his ministers say they are ready to get down to work.

He's also promised to turn the country's economy around and root out corruption in both the state and private sector.

The ANC, as expected, has praised Ramaphosa's Cabinet changes, saying the changes lay a strong foundation for greater alignment and corporation between the ANC and its cadres in Parliament.

Spokesperson Pule Mabe says, “We’re quite happy that there is a mix of skills being brought up to be able to reinforce the work of the national executive and allow the ANC to ready itself going into 2019 elections.”

The South African Communist Party's Solly Mapaila says the communist party welcomes president Ramaphosa's new Cabinet.

“We welcome the intervention by the president, I think it went deeper to the extent that it will begin to reposition the state to fulfil its mandate appropriately. He went into the core of those who were captured by the Guptas and their associated institution.”

It seems business is also happy with many of Ramaphosa's choices.

Business Leadership South Africa has welcomed the announcement, saying it’s an important step in boosting confidence in the economy.

Spokesperson Thebe Mabanga says, “We’d like to believe that few appointments in the economic cluster will be enough to boost the economy and get the economy growing, start creating jobs and addressing challenges such as youth unemployment.

“In other words, a single misplaced appointment should not negate good work being done in other parts.”
But not everyone is impressed.

But not everyone is raving about the new Cabinet.

The Economic Freedom Fighters has rejected the new Cabinet, saying it's a realignment of corruption and state capture.

Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says, “You can’t have Malusi Gigaba as part of the Cabinet, as well as Bathabile Dlamini and Nomvula Mokonyane. Gigaba is a central architect of state capture.”

The Democratic Alliance has also reacted, saying the new changes show that the country’s problems lie with the ANC.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)