A new but compromised Cabinet for growth
"It is clear that President Ramaphosa had to make some serious concessions in his new Cabinet, however, we remain hopeful that this is a Cabinet that will enhance and stimulate the economy,” says Ben Theron, OUTA’s COO.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) trusts that the firing of some of the ministers linked to serious corruption and mismanagement of key state resources will create the opportunity for the State Capture Inquiry to serve justice on the ministers who abused their authority to benefit the Zuma Power Elite.
“We welcome the return of Nhlanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan, both of whom were brazenly removed by former President Zuma, at a time when they both added significant value to managing the nation’s financial affairs,” says Theron.
“We trust their inclusion will curtail the gross maladministration and corruption, and pave the way for further investigations into the capture of the state finances and capital expenditure in SOEs.”
OUTA welcomes the removal of Mosebenzi Zwane, Lynne Brown, Des van Rooyen, Faith Muthambi, Bongani Bongo, Joe Maswanganyi and David Mahlobo, all of whom had been disastrous.
The retention and repositioning of Minister Malusi Gigaba, a key architect of state capture, along with Bathabile Dlamini and Nomvula Mokonyane, both strongly implicated in corruption and mismanagement of crucial resources, remain of concern to OUTA. These three people grossly underperformed in their previous portfolios and their conduct has been extremely damaging to South Africa.
“The shifting of Gigaba back to Home Affairs is ironic given the role he played in facilitating the naturalization of the Guptas. OUTA laid criminal charges against Gigaba last year for his role in state capture,” adds Theron.
The appointment of David Mabuza as the Deputy President is of serious concern. This is clearly a compromise appointment and apparently a result of Mabuza’s support for the President during the ANC election. There are far too many questions related to David Mabuza’s past conduct while he was Mpumalanga Premier. This is a key position and if the President is unavailable for any reason, Mabuza will be at the helm.
President Ramaphosa pointed out the need to balance continuity and stability to introduce renewal, economic recovery and accelerated transformation. However, he held off on streamlining ministries and departments as alluded to in his State of the Nation Address. “We await the review he has committed to and the consequent reduction in state expenditure,” says Theron.
The challenges facing the new Cabinet are formidable as the ministers must start undoing the damage caused during the Zuma era.
We will monitor their work and continue to hold them to account.