President Cyril Ramaphosa responds to the debate on his maiden state-of-the-nation address. PHOTO: Cindy Waxa/ANA Photo
PARLIAMENT - Tests on whether the lifestyles of politicians and public officials in South Africa match their incomes are set to become the norm, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday, starting with himself and members of his cabinet.

"If there ever has been anything that many South Africans would like to have line and sight of is the lifestyle audits of their public representatives. That is something that we have to do and this will be done starting with the executive of the country," Ramaphosa said in Parliament in reply to the debate on his maiden state-of-the-nation address.

"I am heartened...the highest echelons of police will also go through lifestyle audits. Now that is positive."

In 2016, the ruling African National Congress national executive committee said lifestyle audits would be carried out on ministers, government officials and those in charge of public enterprises in a bid to tackle allegations that it was failing to act against those accused of corruption within its own ranks. Since then, there's been no word on whether a single audit was carried out.

Ramaphosa on Tuesday also responded to calls from opposition benches that he fire members of the cabinet he inherited from predecessor Jacob Zuma. A number of cabinet ministers have been implicated in the looting of state resources by families close to Zuma.

The President said if there is a cabinet reshuffle, it won't be done at the behest of the opposition.

"An anouncement will be made by the president at an appropriate time, so don't get ahead of yourselves. This matter will be addressed and I can assure you when it is addressed, it will be addressed very carefully without any noisy intervention I am hearing on this left hand side," said Ramaphosa.

African News Agency/ANA