Roll your own Cabinet

Lynley Donnelly considers what JZ has to do to cook up his own Cabinet

1 ANC national and regional candidates list for the 2009 election (400 names).

2 Apply an even selection of men and women, as agreed at Polokwane.

3 Implement regional sensitivities so that no single province is under-represented.

4 Consider up to five outsiders who can be appointed even though they are not on the candidates list. These are two Cabinet positions and three deputy ministerships.

Outsiders who are understood to be in the sights of the Zuma camp for possible top jobs include Alec Erwin, Cyril Ramaphosa, Gill ­Marcus, Jayendra Naidoo and Tokyo Sexwale.

Throw in two opposition party MPs for executive positions — to look like an inclusive leader.

5 Include other senior appointments in the mix. Many top functionaries are at present appointed in an acting capacity. The terms of others, such as the Reserve Bank governor, come to an end soon. You may want to spread your mix to include these non-Cabinet posts.

6 Take into account both the left, who championed your rise to power, and the moderates, who are so well connected that the heads of key institutions and countries will take their calls. Here think Kgalema Motlanthe and Blade Nzimande on the one hand and Trevor Manuel on the other.

7 Balance the old and the new. Your party and country will want to see both continuity and new ideas. Rising party stars who will need to be accommodated include Lindiwe Sisulu, Siphiwe Nyanda, Enoch Godongwana, Barbara Hogan and Pravin Gordhan.

8 Consult the candidate list to make sure this pecking order is factored in. You would not want to dump a number four, for instance, in favour of a number 93.

9 Promote efficiency above old-hack loyalty if you do not want to go the way of the previous incumbent at the next party conference.

10 While on the subject of old hacks, some are hoping for high office when they would be better pensioned off to make way for younger blood and fresher ideas.

11 Make sure the current (caretaker) president and deputy are happily accommodated in the mix. Give a lot of thought to the deputy position: this person could be your successor.

12 Remember that while it is said that you owe no one anything this is not true. You owe rank and file voters a better life. You owe them service delivery.

13 Make sure you don’t let too many cooks meddle in the process.



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Lynley Donnelly
Lynley Donnelly
Lynley is a senior business reporter at the Mail & Guardian. But she has covered everything from social justice to general news to parliament - with the occasional segue into fashion and arts. She keeps coming to work because she loves stories, especially the kind that help people make sense of their world.

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