Johannesburg – The ANC Youth League says it is “excited, happy, overjoyed and jubilant about President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle announced late on Thursday night.
The league, which has been highly critical of former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, said on Friday that it welcomed the changes because it had long believed that “no one is above the ANC and no is irreplaceable”.
It said Zuma’s changes have finally restored its confidence in his leadership.
The league has been critical of Gordhan and accused him of not implementing ANC policies, specifically on radical economic transformation.
Zuma fired nine ministers and six deputy ministers on Thursday, and announced replacements which include former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba being appointed as Finance Minister, replacing Gordhan.
His deputy Mcebisi Jonas was replaced by ANC MP Sfiso Buthelezi.
Other appointments include Mmamoloko Kubayi as Energy Minister, Joe Masganyi as Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula as the Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko as Public Works Minister, Faith Muthambi as Public Service and Adminstration Minister and Ayanda Dlodlo as Communications Minister and Hlengiwe Mkhize as Home Affairs.
The league said that it understood the President’s motivations to make the changes expecially because he was motivated to bring in women and young ministers into his cabinet.
“This is consistent with the position we adopted at our 25th National Congress and later fought, and won, at the 2015 ANC NGC, that young people should form, at least 40%, of leadership in all spheres of society,” said the league in a statement.
The league was especially pleased with Gigaba’s appointment and said it believed he will persue the ANC’s radical economic transformation policy.
“Following the never-ending scare-mongering relating to the Finance portfolio, we extend a special congratulation to the Minister of Finance, Cde Malusi Gigaba. Cde Gigaba was the longest serving President of the ANCYL. Since 2004, he has held various positions in government in which he discharged his duties with diligence and competence,” said the league.
“We believe that Cde Gigaba understands, and will pursue, the radical economic transformation that will reduce poverty and fight inequality. His humility and discipline will help ensure that the country wins the confidence of credible and legitimate investors. At the some time, his political clarity and firmness will ensure that the space for those who resist transformation is squeezed.”
Meanwhile, former Minster Gordhan and his former deputy Mcebisi Jonas briefed the media and thanked South Africans and called for the masses to organise.
All the newly appointed ministers are expected to sworn in on Friday evening, while the DA has approached the High Court in the Western Cape to stop Zuma's swearing-in ceremony.
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