Pretoria – South Africa’s new Communications Minister, Mmamaloko Kubayi, on Thursday said a cabinet meeting held this week did not discuss the reshuffle of cabinet ministers effected by President Jacob Zuma, or the axing of Blade Nzimande as Higher Education Minister.
“Did cabinet discuss the issue of the reshuffle? No. We don’t discuss such matters. We look on the agenda and focus on the work. All of us understand we are here to do the task.
"I was already in Parliament yesterday [Wednesday] in the the NCOP [National Council of Provinces] answering questions,” Kubayi said addressing journalists in Pretoria.
“All of us are expected to hit the ground running.”
Zuma announced several changes to his cabinet via email on Tuesday morning. In a statement from the Presidency, Zuma announced that the then Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize would replace Nzimande.
Kubayi was moved from the Energy Department, where she was replaced by former State Security Minister David Mahlobo.
Advocate Bongani Bongo was appointed as the new State Security Minister. Former Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo. Dlodlo was reassigned to the Department of Home Affairs.
This was Zuma’s second cabinet reshuffle this year.
On Thursday, Kubayi said the reshuffle does not hamper service delivery or create instability in any way.
“These are political offices. I hear the concerns and I think in detail, the Presidency can have the discussion. I think we need to take into cognisance that service delivery and work,
"I don’t think it gets affected because we have a professional service that is operating. In departments, we have whole teams of Exco [executive committee] which is led by a professional person who is a public servant, who is not a politician and is not a political appointment,” she said.
Reacting to the latest Cabinet reshuffle, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said it was not convinced that the exercise was in the best interests of the country as Zuma had retained some of his most ineffectual ministers.
“Cosatu expects cabinet reshuffles to be about strengthening the capacity of government in order to help government to better implement its developmental agenda and deliver on its promises,” a statement from the ruling African National Congress’ alliance partner said.