Countdown to the cabinet reshuffle: Will Ramaphosa choose wisely

By Tshegofatso Makola

President Cyril Ramaphosa will be taking a hiatus from recovering from his alleged cold, to announce the much-anticipated reshuffle of his cabinet. With a few new individuals being sworn in as Members of Parliament (MP), Ramaphosa has kept his cards quite close to his chest leading up to today.

Weeks of rumours and speculations will finally be put to rest as Ramaphosa addresses the nation in what will be one of the biggest addresses he has had to give.

With the opening up of new positions, the swearing-in of new MPs, and the floods of scrutiny from the public and opposition parties, tonight’s task could have great implications, especially in the lead-up to the 2024 national elections.

This may truly be Ramaphosa’s last chance to prove himself.

Paul Mashatile

There is no doubt that the Alexandra Mafia will be announced as the new Deputy Head of State today.

With David Mabuza having officially resigned as a Member of Parliament and the Deputy President of the country, it is a no-brainer that Mashatile will take over the reins officially today.

The question then becomes: What does Mashatile bring to the table that Mabuza did not?

Both leaders have proven to be rather media shy, often not speaking out unless spoken to. This has left room for plenty of speculation on what Mashatile will truly offer.

With the position of Deputy President of the country traditionally being one with lots of responsibilities, one could argue that this could be in preparation for Mashatile to possibly be Head of State soon.

The recent Phala Phala saga has made Ramaphosa vulnerable to possible resignation or even impeachment.

Could this see Mashatile succeed him? Only time will tell.

Bheki Cele

It is alleged that Ramaphosa is considering reintroducing the Minister of Intelligence, after having scrapped it almost two years ago.

Who better to occupy this position, none other than the Minister of Police Bheki Cele, who has over time criticised this aspect of State Security since the July Unrest. 

With the possible move of Cele to Intelligence, the pressure would be on Ramaphosa to get a suitable candidate amid the rising issue of crime in the country.

Mondli Gungubele vs. Maropene Ramokgopa

The position of Minister of Electricity has been fresh on the minds of us all, as the energy crisis has become more dire.

With the announcement of a National State of Disaster as well as the regulations to combat this crisis, the only thing missing to tie it all together is the position of Minister of Electricity.

Maropene Ramokgopa is known for occupying one of the two Deputy Secretary General positions in the ANC and has established a close relationship with President Ramaphosa.

With Ramokgopa having been sworn in as an MP recently, this could likely see her occupying a position in the Presidency to make work much lighter on Ramaphosa. What better position to place her than as the Minister of Electricity?

Although Ramokgopa would seem like the politically viable option, the Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele seems like a great candidate for the job.

With the President having received great criticism for the introduction of this position, one may argue that Ramaphosa would be strategic enough to please those arguing “the waste of state funds” and other arguments, by appointing someone who already has expertise in the office of the Presidency.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

The fate of NDZ is arguably the most unpredictable at the moment with questions beginning to loom over who will replace her in the position of Minister of Coorperate Traditional Affairs if she is removed.

With Dlamini-Zuma having expressed her view for Ramaphosa to be removed last year, following the Phala Phala saga, one would assume that Ramaphosa would prefer to deal with the snakes in his cabinet before it is too late.

One then questions the fate of Lindiwe Sisulu as the Minister of Tourism too. Will her surname prove to be enough for her to remain in cabinet once again, or will she, too receive the boot tonight.

Will those that proved their disloyalty towards Ramaphosa remain, but moreover, will this new cabinet reignite the flame of hope among us all that is en route to being extinguished?

Article Tags

Cyril Ramaphosa

cabinet reshuffle

energy crisis

Minister of Electricity


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