The cabinet reshuffle still retains some problem ministers

The cabinet reshuffle still retains some problem ministers

 

The new cabinet is a big improvement on the old one, but it is still too big and it does retain some problem ministers.

We are surprised at the decision to move Minister Malusi Gigaba to Home Affairs.

He was a disaster when he was last in Home Affairs. His impossible new visa regulations and the requirement for unabridged birth certificates did serious damage to the tourist industry and the good name of the country. He also proved to be a stubborn man who refused to listen to reason or even appeals from fellow ministers.

Most of the other changes are welcomed and the Chamber is glad to see the back of “Gupta ministers” as well as the energy minister, David Mahlobo, who has strong Russian and nuclear power connections. I think that is a chapter we can now close.

The big positives included the return of Minister Nhlanhla Nene to Finance and Minister Pravin Gordhan to the difficult job of sorting out the Public Enterprises. This will be a real challenge and it will take a long time, but I have no doubt he is the best man to get the process started.

We should bear in mind that this is a transitional cabinet to see the country through to the next election. When President Ramaphosa has his own mandate we can expect to see some fundamental changes and the reorganisation of Government departments to reduce the size of the Cabinet and improve efficiency. Hopefully it will also see the back of the remaining compromised ministers and their deputies.

I think business is generally pleased with most of the appointments, but we have a long way to go to restore full confidence in the country. Unfortunately, all this good work could be undone by the debate on land expropriation without compensation over the next few days. It is an explosive problem and the consequences could be devastating if the populists get their way.

Janine Myburgh
President of the Cape Chamber