New faces for Cabinet?

At least four prominent African National Congress members are being billed as candidates for posts in the new post-election Cabinet. The ANC is drawing up its list of candidates for national and provincial legislatures.

The four are Limpopo Premier Ngoako Ramatlhodi, Gauteng minister of finance Jabu Moleketi, Northern Cape Premier Manne Dipico and North West Premier Popo Molefe.

There are already two Cabinet vacancies: Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Penuell Maduna and Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Mohammed Valli Moosa have declined nomination to Parliament.

Ramatlhodi, who is a trained lawyer, is being touted as Maduna’s successor. It is understood that a number of senior ANC members have already started lobbying on his behalf.
A senior ANC member said Ramatlhodi would bring intellectual debate to the Cabinet.

Moleketi, who has successfully completed two terms driving the financial policy of the country’s economic hub, is considered the best candidate to be groomed as Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel’s eventual successor. ANC officials believe he could get the deputy minister’s job in the department. The current Deputy Minister of Finance, Mandisi Mpahlwa, has been mentioned as a possible premier for the Eastern Cape.

Dipico, who features at number 10 in the list of candidates for the National Assembly, is expected to get a prominent ministry.

“He is dynamic and would not fit in well with the environment ministry,” said an ANC national executive committee member. “They would possibly move a woman to that portfolio — maybe Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri — and give the communications ministry to him.”

Molefe, who has not had a good relationship with the ANC’s national leadership, might get a diplomatic post. ANC officials speculate that he might be hoping for “something bigger — and will probably end up joining the private sector”.

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