It is clear that the President is not driven by efficiency and good management principles with regard to Cabinet portfolios. His motives to reshuffle are not only questionable but also go against his constitutional mandate to uphold sound governance principles.

There is no rational basis for reshuffling Ministers such as Hlengiwe Mkhize and Ayanda Dlodlo barely three months into their appointments. At best, the Cabinet reshuffle can be viewed as the reshuffling of deck chairs on a sinking ship and at worst, smacks of a thinly-veiled attempt to get rid of political opponents who have called out the President’s excesses. It is important that there be stability within the Executive so that South Africa’s policies, especially the National Development Plan, are implemented effortlessly. This Cabinet reshuffle is one of several witnessed in 2017 alone, and, according to media reports, the 12th under this President. Worryingly, this is also the 7th Communications Minister in eight years. This does not bode well for South Africa’s long term political stability. It is vital that the nation’s best interests are placed ahead of narrow party-political interests.

Ms Phephelaphi Dube: Director, Centre for Constitutional Rights
17 October 2017

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