'Cabinet reshuffle was crucial,' says ANC

It had been crucial to reshuffle the Cabinet to ensure effective service delivery, the African National Congress said on Sunday.

“Having done a serious introspection through continuous monitoring and evaluation of performance of all ANC cadres deployed to Cabinet, the need to reshuffle Cabinet to ensure effective service delivery became crucial,” spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

Changes

  • Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda was replaced by Roy Padayachie. His deputy would be Obed Bapele.

  • Public Works Minister Geoff Doidge was replaced by Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde.

  • Women, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya was replaced by Lulu Xingwana.

  • Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana was replaced by Mildred Oliphent.

  • Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica was replaced by Edna Molewa.

  • Ayanda Dlodlo becomes Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi’s deputy.

  • Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan was replaced by Malusi Gigaba. His deputy is Benedict Martin.

  • Sports and Recreation Minister Makhenkesi Stofile was replaced by Fikile Mbalula.

  • Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana was replaced by Paul Mashatile.

  • Social Development Minister Edna Molewa was replaced by Bathabile Dlamini.
The new team was expected to be sworn into office on Monday at 2pm.

Mthembu congratulated the new ministers.

“We would also like to pay tribute to outgoing ministers who have served the ANC-led government well, confident that they will continue to make a meaningful contribution in areas where they will be redeployed.”

The ANC said the way government worked had to change in order to improve service delivery.

“The reshuffle is also in line with the recent ANC national general council to put the interests of the people first, confident that the changes at Cabinet level will go a long way to make government stronger.”

President Jacob Zuma told a press conference on Sunday evening the reshuffle was aimed at strengthening government ministries, improving the provision of basic services and improving the lives of the poor.

“Given the fact that we still face serious challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality in the country, government has to work at a faster pace to change the lives of the poor,” Zuma said.

“We had to change the way government works in order to improve service delivery.
Our mission was guided by improving the quality of the lives of South Africans.”

‘Plausible gift’
It was a “plausible gift” to the ANC Youth League to have its former presidents appointed as Cabinet ministers, it said on Sunday.

“It is a plausible gift because the principle of generational mix in the leadership of government is now given practical meaning,” spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said in a statement.

Former league presidents Gigaba and Mbalula were appointed as ministers of public enterprises and sports and recreation, respectively.

The league said it had confidence in all of the new ministers and deputy ministers and would give them the necessary support.

“The ANC Youth League also calls on those whose ministerial responsibilities are discontinued to continue serving the ANC in their various other areas of deployment.

“[The] Cabinet reshuffle is necessary to give those who have been given responsibilities more inspiration to work harder with clear direction.”

‘Accountability
The reshuffle was a positive indication of “renewed focus on accountability”, said the Democratic Alliance on Sunday.

“We particularly welcome the development in light of the fact that under former president Mbeki, no significant changes were made to the composition of the executive,” DA parliamentary leader Athol Trollip said in a statement.

The opposition party applauded Zuma for removing Nyanda, Mayende-Sibiya, and Mdladlana.

“These ministers did not perform, and President Zuma made the right decision to remove them from their positions,” Trollip said.

The biggest change was the replacement of Nyanda, a former head of the South African National Defence Force and a member of the ruling party’s national working committee.

Opposition parties have accused Nyanda of poor performance while media reports raised instances of mismanagement in the ministry. He has also been dogged by allegations of companies connected to him landing hefty government contracts.

In January 2010, the Mail & Guardian established that Nyanda’s family trust owned a 45% stake in a company, GNS Risk Advisory Services, that had at least five contracts with government agencies, bringing it millions of rands in government business.

In April the M&G revealed a further devastating indictment of GNS.

The company took the unusual step of approaching the South Gauteng High Court to set aside a decision regarding the findings of an internal Transnet disciplinary hearing. Charges against Gama involved a GNS security contract, ultimately worth about R55‑million

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that Nyanda had breached the Executive Ethics Code by publicly supporting Siyabonga Gama before Transnet fired him for signing the contract in question.

Earlier this month another scandal erupted when the Sunday Independent reported that the day before she was axed as director general, Mamodupi Mohlala had reported tender irregularities worth R70-million to the police for a fraud and corruption investigation.

Nyanda’s department received a qualified audit this year—for the first time in five years—and he was severely criticised for his mismanagement and wasteful expenditure by the opposition Democratic Alliance.

Nyanda also failed to provide leadership regarding Sentech and the SABC.

He also became known as the “minister of luxury” after stays at luxury hotels and extravagant spending on cars from public funds.

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