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Zuma’s Cabinet: Cronyism over good governance, says DA

President Jacob Zuma is more concerned about creating jobs for his friends than good governance, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Monday.

“The appointment of minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson to the energy portfolio is yet another indication that President Zuma is far more concerned with creating jobs for his pals than he is about good governance,” said DA MP Lance Greyling in a statement.

“Instead of being fired, Minister Joemat-Pettersson has been rewarded for her long-standing loyalty to President Zuma.”

Greyling said Joemat-Pettersson was ineffective in her previous portfolio.

“After a dismal performance as the minister of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries [DAFF], President Zuma has chosen to promote Minister Joemat-Pettersson to the crucial ministry of energy.”

She was implicated in a damning report by public protector Thuli Madonsela over irregularities in the awarding of an R800-million Sekunjalo tender. She was also implicated in the bungling of the DAFF’s fishing rights allocation process which saw thousands of fishing rights holders unemployed.

Greyling said the energy portfolio was tasked with overseeing an energy build programme that would exceed R1-trillion, which was far more than any other infrastructure build programme in South Africa.

“The president has essentially placed a fox in a hen-house by entrusting this minister with trillions of [rands worth of] public money. If we could not trust minister Joemat-Petterson to issue fishing licences, how can we be expected to trust her with keeping South Africa’s lights on?” he asked.

However, the South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) welcomed her appointment and that of her deputy Thembi Majola.

“We welcome both [of them] … and look forward to continue working with the department of energy on the crucial energy sector of our economy,” Sapia chairperson Bonang Mohale said in a statement.

“We will continue to work in partnership with [them] … to drive key issues in the energy sector, such as economic transformation, biofuels, clean fuels … and security of supply.”

Meanwhile, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) welcomed the retention of Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel.

“Both ministries were strategically important in facilitating the future growth and development of the entire South African automotive Industry,” Naamsa president Johan Van Zyl said in a statement on Monday.

“Continuity and stability in ministerial leadership is vital in this regard.”

Naamsa also congratulated new Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.

“Both ministries were also critically important to the future direction of the South African automotive industry and the economy.”

The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) welcomed the merger of the justice and correctional services departments and congratulated new minister Michael Masutha.

“We note the thinking behind the combination of two large and challenging departments to be guided by the intention to improve efficiency in the criminal justice system,” co-chairpersons Ettienne Barnard and Max Boqwana said in a statement.

“We wish the minister well in this regard. We are pleased to note that two deputy ministers have been appointed to support him in this enormous task.”

The LSSA offered its support to Masutha and his deputies.

The South African Attorneys Association (SAAA) also welcomed the merger and Masutha.

“The minister and his deputies are wished well for their term and can be assured the SA Attorneys Association is always willing to discuss and advise on issues concerning the profession and access to justice for the public,” said association chairperson Praveen Sham. – Sapa

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