Johannesburg, 27 February 2018 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet restructuring, but expressed disappointment at the retention of at least two Ministers with unimpressive performance in their previous portfolios, the Federation’s Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said this morning.
“We are particularly pleased with the reappointment of Mr Nhlanhla Nene as the Finance Minister and Mr Pravin Ghordhan as the Public Enterprises Minister. These are credible, hard-working men who have demonstrated high levels of integrity,” Mr Nyatsumba said.
The Federation also welcomed the appointments of Ms Lindiwe Sisulu as International Relations Minister, Mr Bheki Cele as the Minister of Police, Dr Zweli Mkhize as the Coorporative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister and Mr Gwede Mantashe as the Mineral Resources Minister.
“Mr Mantashe has a long history in and good understanding of the mining sector, having once served as the General Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers. We hope that his appointment into the Ministry will help solve the impasse between Government and the mining sector, which will bode well for the metals and engineering sector, given the strong symbiotic relationship that exists between mining and the two sectors,” Mr Nyatsumba said.
He said that while SEIFSA would have preferred an immediate reduction of the bloated Cabinet and the appointment of only men and women whose integrity is beyond question, nevertheless he understood that President Ramaphosa had to perform “a delicate balancing act” to please various constituencies within the governing party and its alliance partners, especially ahead of next year’s crucial general elections.
However, Mr Nyatsumba expressed “deep disappointment at the retention of some inefficient Ministers who had failed disastrously in their previous portfolio, such as the controversial Bathabile Dlamini”.
Mr Nyatsumba said SEIFSA called on all Cabinet Ministers, both new and old, to move with speed to improve policy coherence in Government and to fast-track an inclusive economic growth agenda in the interest of employment creation and poverty alleviation. He said it was important for the President and his Cabinet to understand that they were “servants of the people”, with their job being to serve the best interests of the country, and not their own selfish interests or those of their friends or families.
“Like many other business representatives, SEIFSA stands ready to work with the new leadership in the best interests of South Africa Incorporated,” he said.
Mr Nyatsumba said SEIFSA hoped that, in the event that the governing party obtains a majority in next year’s elections, President Ramaphosa would make good on his promise to reduce the size of the Cabinet significantly and appoint only men and women of integrity.
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