Same old shhh… Just a different day: Cabinet recycle inspires zero hope


Ayanda Mdluli

JOHANNESBURG- When president Cyril Ramaphosa took to the podium last night to address the country on the so-called “cabinet reshuffle” he looked tired and defeated.

It appears that keeping the fragile alliance and the staunchly divided factions happy as well as constantly having to watch out for the side-eyes of his number two is starting to prove more tiresome than ever.

The concept of comradery within the movement has finally decomposed to skeletal status.

Yesterday, Ramaphosa told journalists that he was not consulting a sangoma when the announcement was pushed back by almost two hours due to “delayed consultations”.

Well, by the look on the president’s face last night and with the reappointment of old and senile individuals into key cabinet positions – it has now probably dawned on the president that in African politics when it comes to the metaphysics of power, science and the spiritual realm and are not mutually exclusive when defining the meaning of the life in the African socio-political context.

The negative energy that comes in dealing with people who are ready to stab you in the back at any minute demands that one be in tune with his spiritual essence from time to time in order to preserve some levels of sanity.

Anyways I digress, the point here is not to talk too much about spiritual matters but to discuss the lack of generational transition in the ANC. The party has clearly run out of ideas on which direction this so-called “new dawn” should be taking us.

In another unusual twist, the leader of the EFF Julius Malema announced the new Cabinet before the president. What this means is that someone in the National Executive Committee (NEC) is feeding him intel. If he is being fed that type of Intel, that means someone in the ANC NEC does not demonstrate unflinching loyalty to the movement and that someone is working in cahoots to bring down or undermine the integrity of the ANC presidency.

Ramaphosa should be a worried man given that yesterday we saw a president who is clearly indecisive and lacks the conviction to make the right decisions that will truly shape the narrative of a “new dawn”. Instead, the nation was subjected to a recycling of old and outdated appointments instead of something fresh that will truly inspire hope.

The constant “delayed consultations” with an alliance that would be dead on its own under Blade Nzimande is proof that the new president is leading a movement that will undoubtedly begin dying a slow and natural death post-2019. There is no way that the young and unemployed who have also been disenfranchised as a result of the propping up of institutionalised racist corporations in our economic landscape will continue keeping the ANC in power come the next elections.

The president, in his scramble to save face amid the promises he made in his State of the Nation Address brought back ministers like Derek Hanekom, Pravin Gordhan, Suzan Shabangu, Bheki Cele, Gwede Mantashe, Bathabile Dlamini and Nhlanhla Nene who were part and parcel of the old guard that oversaw the systematic depression of our economy and key societal structures which was exacerbated by unemployment levels that rose to its highest at rates of more than 27 percent and 40 percent for young people. It has been more than 25 years and we are still subject to the same old tired faces.

In a country where the population is relatively young, it is clear that perhaps a sangoma is being used to cloud Mr. Ramaphosa’s judgment and stifle the broader – younger population of South Africa in general as there is nothing that speaks of a new dawn in the cabinet. How do you justify bringing back members of the old guard, some of whom were found guilty by the public protector of acting unlawfully and engaging in corruption? All of this at a time when the ANC needs younger faces with fresh ideas to deal with the economic injustices that are still affecting our people 24 years after democracy.

Gordhan and Nene have not made any significant inroads to change the status quo which is characterised by inequality for blacks in SA. Their reappointment is redundant to say the least, and is not indicative of a “new dawn” especially when there are young, capable leaders within our economic landscape in various structures of the organisation who could have been propelled to pave the way for a new era in our democratic dispensation.


Ayanda Mdluli: Is the Business Editor of Africa News 24-7