Cape Town - The Cape Chamber of Commerce has voiced its disapproval of President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle.
On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma axed South African Communist Party (SACP) secretary general, Blade Nzimande and replaced him with Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize. Mkhize used to serve as minister of home affairs.
Nzimande’s deputy minister, Mduduzi Manana was replaced by Buti Manamela who formerly served as deputy minister of planning and monitoring in the Presidency. Other ministers were reshuffled to various portfolios. This is the second cabinet reshuffle this year and the twelfth since Zuma came to office in 2009.
President of the Cape Commerce Janine Myburgh said there is no rational explanation for the recent cabinet reshuffle other than sinister.
“This means we have now had three Ministers of Energy in a single year in a department that should be all about long-term planning. The only possible explanation is sinister. We have seen too many strange and irrational deals in the energy sector to believe anything else.” said Myburgh.
Myburgh has accused Zuma of appointing his loyal supporters in key areas, which she says they are already “captured”.
“It interesting to see that the changes mean that strong Zuma supporters are being placed in key areas such as State Security, Home Affairs and Communications. Other key areas like the Treasury and the Police were captured in the previous reshuffle,” she said.
Myburgh has accused Zuma of putting his own personal interests before the country, the economy and the poor.
She said the recent cabinet changes were about the President’s bid to retain power and to avenge those who had supported calls for his resignation. She said they had nothing to do with governance.
SACP has slammed the removal of blade as “factional”.
In a statement, the Tripartite Alliance member said: "We emphatically reject these manoeuvres that place the Alliance on the brink of disintegration. Our view is that this is not a reshuffle, but the targeted removal of Cde Blade as a direct attack on the SACP. Ordinarily the aim of any cabinet reshuffle must be to strengthen the capacity of the state. But in this case that is not the intention, especially with the retention of so many deadwoods and compromised individuals in Cabinet."
Leader of the EFF, Julius Malema has also made claims during a press conference that the cabinet reshuffle was a tactical move to conclude the nuclear deal through David Mahlobo as the new Minister of Energy.