27 February 2018

BUSA regards the Cabinet reshuffle as a step in the right direction

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), today welcomed President Ramaphosa’s first cabinet reshuffle, saying the return of Nhlanhla Nene to the Finance portfolio and the appointment of Pravin Gordhan, as Minister of Public Enterprises reinforces the requirements for a strong, accountable and successful economic cluster.

“BUSA believes these appointments signal a strategic placement of capable individuals with a track record for delivery into key positions in the executive,” says Tanya Cohen, BUSA CEO.

“The appointment of Mr Nene will re-establish much needed certainty and credibility with both local and international investors.  Our members, also welcome the return of Mr Gordhan, who will need to work hard and fast to put state owned entities on a stable footing where their role, their viability and their governance withstands scrutiny.

BUSA stated that the departure of many of the Ministers implicated in state capture is a step towards restoring confidence in the Executive. A positive illustration is the appointment of Deputy Minister of Finance, Mondli Gungubele who has been an outspoken critic of corruption, particularly with respect to State Owned Enterprises. In addition, the stability provided by retaining Ministers in Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Environmental Affairs and Labour was welcomed.

BUSA also commented on other key changes:

A number of key appointments are directly relevant to areas of policy focus for BUSA.

  • Jeff Radebe into the Energy ministry provides a welcome sign that there will be consultation on the Integrated Resource Plan and Integrated Energy Plan, which will provide the much-needed framework and direction for energy planning, pricing and resourcing.
  • Naledi Pandor’s appointment into the Higher Education portfolio will do much to position the country for the future.  This provides the opportunity to realign the post school education system in a manner that is demand-led for a competitive and agile economy. It is critical to realign the skills landscape so that it is geared to enable South Africa to compete and to stimulate employment, thereby also driving transformation of the economy. President Ramaphosa has repeatedly stressed the emphasis that will be placed on higher education.
  • Gwede Mantashe’s appointment to Mineral Resources is a strong signal that the President has responded to the challenges facing the sector.  Mr Mantashe’s key challenge and priority should be to provide policy certainty.
  • The appointment of Susan Shabangu into social development will provide greater confidence that that the social grant system will be repaired and that a framework for comprehensive social security will be put in place.
  • The return of Derek Hanekom to Tourism will reinforce the critical growth opportunity for this strategic sector.
  • Nkosasana Dlamini-Zuma into the Presidency with responsibility for performance and monitoring will bring renewed focus on holding government to account.

Cohen concludes: “The extent of the reshuffle will result in significant adjustments that will take time and resources. We urgently need the reconfiguration of cabinet referred to by President Ramaphosa to be implemented in order to reduce inefficiencies, misalignment and costs and to demonstrate that the executive is both aligned and accountable”.

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