Members of Parliament (MPs) who attended the State of The Nation Address have shied away from speculating on a possible Cabinet reshuffle.
Although this was something some opposition party MPs wanted President Cyril Ramaphosa to touch on during his speech, he didn’t mention it.
Former presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Energy Minister David Mahlobo, and Small Business Minister Lindiwe Zulu opted not to comment on a reshuffle.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Bheki Cele says he’s open to being placed wherever the leadership sends him.
“It’s up to him [Ramaphosa]. Wherever I’m sent by the ANC and leadership I will go and try to do my best.”
“IT’S CRUCIAL THAT RAMAPHOSA RESHUFFLES HIS CABINET”
Economists say while President Ramaphosa has made impressive economic promises for South Africa’s future, his current Cabinet may make it difficult for him to fulfil them.
Ramaphosa shared some project ideas with South Africans, saying the country’s economic growth is a priority for him during his presidential tenure.
He said addressing youth unemployment and growing small business enterprises will ensure a bright future for South Africans.
Argon Asset Management economist Thabi Leoka says it’s crucial that Ramaphosa reshuffles his Cabinet to make sure these promises come to fruition.
“I’m hoping that when he reveals his new Cabinet, it will be super… one that will not embarrass him and ensure that his plans are implemented.”
Analysts say President Ramaphosa’s plans to create a social compact with non-governmental organisations to assist South Africa’s economic growth will lead to a more inclusive country.
During his State of The Nation Address (Sona) on Friday night, Ramaphosa said the state will be teaming up with business, organised labour and community representatives to tackle economic issues, such as the high youth unemployment rate.
Ramaphosa said as of March, the government will team up with companies to place unemployed youth in paid internships and apprenticeships.
Political analyst Ebrahim Fakir says such partnerships will improve the division between government and civilians which has existed for the last decade.
“This sets out the broad parameters of the policy pins, which will be underpinned by the actual budget speech. We’ll get a much clearer indication of what they actually want to do, through the budget speech and the basis of the number of resources allocated to particular functions.”
Many MPs agree this year’s State of the Nation Address was a different one.
A happier occasion compared to recent years and it all had to do with former president Jacob Zuma no longer being the man in charge.
There were cheers from people in the streets of Cape Town as the presidential cavalcade meandered towards Parliament.
It wasn’t just the everyday person who was happy about the new president’s arrival, most MPs and VIPs were jubilant as they made their way down the red carpet.
African National Congress MP Phindiwe Samka-Mququ says she had two outfits planned for Friday night; one for Jacob Zuma and one for Cyril Ramaphosa.
“It’s a wonderful day for me because we’re in a new era.”
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane and the rest of his party’s members wore bright colours, a significant change from the black garb they’d donned at previous Sonas under Jacob Zuma’s presidency.
“Days like these must remind us of who we can be and therefore we must celebrate.”
The African Christian Democratic Party’s Kenneth Meshoe says there is so much hope in the House and in the country now.