Cape Town - Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane says a cut to a “waste of a bloated Cabinet” is necessary to clean house.
Maimane on Sunday said the party’s ideal Cabinet should comprise of 15 ministers, in order for it to function effectively.
Currently, the Cabinet consists of 76 ministers and deputy ministers.
“A new era of hopefulness and renewal cannot be achieved with the same people who were at the centre of nearly every Jacob Zuma scandal,” said Maimane.
This comes after Cyril Ramaphosa hinted a Cabinet reshuffle and possible merging of departments, during his first State of the Nation Address on Thursday.
Ramaphosa said it was important for the size of the government to respond to the efficient use of public funds. He charged that growth‚ development and transformation depended on a strong and capable state.
“It is critical that the structure and size of the state is optimally suited to meet the needs of the people and ensure the most efficient allocation of public resources. We will therefore initiate a process to review the configuration‚ number and size of national government departments,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa has not indicated when he will announce his new cabinet, however calls are mounting to reshuffle a Cabinet stacked with former president Jacob Zuma’s loyalists.
Maimane said Ramaphosa should remove those ministers who have “propped up Zuma for so long”.
He listed among others, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, Mineral Resource Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, Public Service and Administration Faith Muthambi and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des Van Rooyen.
He said by relieving these ministers of their offices, Ramaphosa will be demonstrating “his true commitment to what he said on Friday night by ridding the executive of those ministers whose presence in the government has only ever been a source of scandal and failure”.
In a list that was circulating on social media, with official parliamentary letterheads after Ramaphosa’s appointment, it points that Gigaba, Sfiso Buthelezi, Fikile Mbalula, Zwane, David Mhlobo, Batabile Dlamini and Bongani Bongo are amongst those to be fired.
Ministers linked to state captured, and those who were close with Zuma are likely to get the chop, according to the list.
Responding to media on the day of SONA, Gigaba seemed to be in the dark as to whether he will deliver the budget speech as minister of finance. He said the speech will be delivered by the minister, whom the president prefers at that time.
“I serve at the pleasure of the president. On the 21st there will be a budget speech delivered by the minister of finance,” said Gigaba.
EFF has also joined the DA in calling for Gigaba to be chopped. EFF leader Julius Malema challenged Ramaphosa to fire Gigaba whom he referred to as a threat to the state’s “purse”