Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Jerome Delay/AP/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane said on Wednesday night that President Cyril Ramaphosa's Cabinet, announced earlier in the evening, was not a reflection of a "new dawn" for South Africa. 

"The appointment of the Deputy President and Ministers to form the nation’s Cabinet was the first real test for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s much talked about “clean up” and tough stance on corruption. Unfortunately, Ramaphosa placed the internal factional interests of the ANC ahead of the interests of the people of South Africa," said Maimane via an emailed statement. 

He said that at a time of great expectation of renewal and change, Ramaphosa instead chose the survival of the ANC over the future of the country.

"Ramaphosa chose to appoint [compromised] individuals such as David Mabuza as Deputy President, Fikile Mbalula as Minister of Transport and Gwede Mantashe as Minister of Mineral Resources.

"This cabinet announcement shows the farcical belief that a stronger mandate for Cyril Ramaphosa would lead to a “new dawn”. Rather, his appointments to the economics cluster show that he will continue down the same tried and tested path that has led us to having the highest youth unemployment rate in the world."

South Africa deserved a diverse, competent cabinet that was not a negotiated settlement between factions, but instead a team of committed individuals who were ready to take South Africa forward, said Maimane. 

"With a slight reduction to the size of the cabinet – at 28 members – Ramaphosa has shown that he, like his predecessors, has used cabinet to reward loyal cadres within the ANC. Cutting a few ministers whilst adding more deputy ministers will not fool the people of South Africa. Presented with a fresh opportunity to create his own cabinet, he chose the ANC’s survival over the people of South Africa."

African News Agency/ANA