SAPTU had hoped that Pres. Ramaphosa’s cabinet shuffle would be more dramatic doing away with all underperforming ministers and deputy ministers. Furthermore, the addition of specific persons to the National Executive raises concerns over the president’s reasons for the shake-up. Did the president reposition himself in the political sphere to save his future, or was the objective to benefit the country?
“We can only hope that the new brooms will sweep clean,” says Adv Ben van der Walt, the general secretary of SAPTU (South African Parastatal and Tertiary Institutions Union). “But, experience has taught us that even the most seemingly perfect candidates for government positions could, in time, disappoint us with corruption, mismanagement and ineptitude.”
The resignation of Tito Mboweni as minister of finance was one of the biggest surprises. Even though his predecessor, Enoch Godongwana, comes from a labour union and financial background and seems to lean towards smart economic moves for the country, already past financial irregularities in 2004 and 2012 popped up.
SAPTU also worries that the state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo will now be heading the public service and administration portfolio, while big questions still hang around her honesty and handling of the recent unrest in the country.
“In terms of the new minister of health, Joe Phaahla, it looks like he hit the ground running with his first pandemic update live-streamed this morning,” says Adv Van der Walt. “That is a good sign, and we hope that it is an indication of the future work ethic we will see.”
SAPTU will keep an eye on the new appointees and will keep them on their toes, as always.
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