DA, Cosatu welcome cabinet changes

November 2, 2010 10:07 pm 0 comments

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) have welcomed the cabinet reshuffle announced recently by President Jacob Zuma.

In a statement, the DA says the move is a positive indication of renewed focus on accountability and welcomes the changes to the executive.

In particular, the DA hailed the removal of Communications minister, Siphiwe Nyanda, minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, minister of Public Service and Administration, Richard Baloyi and Labour minister, Membathisi Mdladlana.

“These ministers did not perform, and President Zuma made the right decision to remove them from their positions,” says Athol Trollip, DA parliamentary leader.
While Cosatu didn’t state which removals it supported, it welcomed the changes and and urged the new ministers to work on tackling the challenges facing the country.

“We urge the new team to remain fully united so that we can move forward together to deliver on our promises and bring down the unacceptable levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality,” said Cosatu spokesperson, Patrick Craven.

He added that the organisation would seek to meet with the new minsters as soon as possible, to discuss the implementation of the policies of the ANC’s 2007 Polokwane conference and its 2009 election manifesto, as speedily and effectively as possible.

The DA also challenged the new ministers to improve the performance of their departments, but questioned some of the decisions taken by the Presidency.

“The removal of Public Enterprises minister Barbara Hogan, for instance, is surprising, given that Hogan has certainly been one of the most competent ministers in the Zuma cabinet. Is she being relieved of her duties because she is also one of the most outspoken?”

“The DA equally notes with concern that former deputy minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, has been chosen to replace Hogan in this most important of portfolios. Gigaba has lurched from one controversy to the next at Home Affairs, and should the President have used this opportunity to remove some of his harshest critics, then that is the patently a misguided approach,” Trollip argues.

He adds that Zuma has also missed an opportunity to address the poor performance of a number of ministers, including Higher Education and Training minister, Blade Nzimande, saying that his performance so far has been characterized by an inability to take the tough decisions necessary to turn around the fortunes of his department.

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