ANC secretary general Ace Magashule (in white shirt) and ANC national spokesman Pule Mabe (in black jacket) address journalists after a special meeting of the ANC NEC in Pretoria on Sunday. Photo: ANA/Jonisayi Maromo

Tshwane - The African National Congress will ensure there will not be any "anxiety" about the appointment of a new deputy president, after former incumbent Cyril Ramaphosa was elected president of the republic on February 15, on Sunday.

“On the issue of Cabinet [appointments], it is always a prerogative of the president in or after consultation with the national officials. Tomorrow [Monday] we have a simple, normal officials meeting,” Magashule told journalists in Pretoria at the conclusion of a special ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting. 

“If this matter arises, we will then discuss it there. We are going to move with speed to ensure that the issue of Cabinet, the issue of [the deputy president]... there is no anxiety about it. We don’t have an agenda for tomorrow [Monday], it’s a normal officials' meeting, [but] if it comes, it will be part of our discussions and yes we will discuss it,“ he said.

Ramaphosa has been under pressure from certain quarters to appoint a deputy president and to make changes to the cabinet he inherited from former president Jacob Zuma to get rid of inefficient and corruption-tainted ministers, but he is believed to be in consultations on the matter and appears to be reluctant to be rushed.   

The special meeting of the ANC NEC on Sunday was called to conclude the deployment of members of the NEC into sub-committees and to provinces. Magashule said Ramaphosa had told NEC members to “honour their deployments”.

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule and ANC national spokesman Pule Mabe address journalists after a special meeting of the ANC NEC in Pretoria on Sunday. Video: ANA/Jonisayi Maromo

“The president of the ANC, comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, delivered political remarks to the meeting which strongly emphasised the need for ANC leaders and members to honour the deployments entrusted to them by the organisation and the need for consequence management where comrades fail to do so,” said Magashule. 

ANC NEC deployments. Picture: Supplied

“The president’s political remarks further reflected on the budget delivered by the Minister of Finance comrade Malusi Gigaba in Parliament, specifically taking note of the constrained fiscal space South Africa finds itself in and the need for difficult decisions, including the proposed increase on value-added tax (VAT) to support government meet pressing social challenges.”

Magashule said the NEC believed that government should consider a further range of measures to alleviate any negative consequences on the poor that may be occasioned by the VAT increase, including additions to the list of zero-rated and tax-exempt items. 

“The NEC committed to continued engagement with all social partners on this and other matters arising from the state-of-the-nation address and the budget,” he said.

African News Agency/ANA