Ramaphosa's never seen Zuma more serious about performance

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says the president is 'serious' about his Cabinet's performance. (David Harrison, M&G)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says the president is 'serious' about his Cabinet's performance. (David Harrison, M&G)

President Jacob Zuma is “deadly serious” that his newly appointed Cabinet performs, his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the New Age‘s business breakfast briefing in Cape Town, Ramaphosa said government had been told by ratings agencies that its National Development Plan was wonderful “but we want to see whether you are indeed going to implement it”.

He said the answer to that had been given by Zuma in his State of the Nation Address on Tuesday evening.

“Ministers are going to be required to meet him and outline precisely what it is they are going to do in each of their portfolios. And thereafter, to sign clear and focused agreements with the president.”

The agreements would be supported by an evaluation and assessment mechanism that would monitor their performance.

“This time around, the president is deadly serious to see to it that there is clear performance from the men and women who he has appointed as his Cabinet ministers. Watch this space.
There is going to be a clear performance,” Ramaphosa said to loud applause. “I’ve never seen the president more serious than this.”

Earlier, Ramphosa singled out energy constraints as a factor inhibiting foreign investment.

“Many companies wanting to invest further look at our energy landscape and say we will not be able to get on with our manufacturing ... because there are energy constraints in South Africa.”

Elaborating on decisions by ratings agencies to downgrade South Africa’s credit rating and revise their outlook on the country’s economy, he said government was “deeply concerned” about the economy.

“They [the agencies] are concerned about our growth outlook, which they believe has deteriorated over time. Some of them also raised the issue of the strike in the platinum belt. And we are as deeply concerned as all South Africans about the level of growth in our economy.”

Responding to a question about Zuma’s health, Ramaphosa said the president was “fully rested”.

Zuma ‘under a lot of stress’
Ramaphosa said Zuma had “been under a lot of stress” as a result of the election campaign, where he had “pushed the envelope” quite a lot.

When Zuma delivered his address on Tuesday evening, it was the first time he was seen in public for a week, after the presidency and his party, the ANC, said he was fatigued.

Ramphosa said Zuma was now “in good health”. – Sapa

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