South Africa’s Zuma reshuffles cabinet; Gordhan replaced by Home Affairs Minister Gigaba

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma called a meeting of the ruling African National Congress’ (ANC) top six officials late on Thursday, media reported, after ANC ally the South African Communist Party said he planned to sack Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The SACP said it objected to that plan, while the main opposition said it would call a vote of no-confidence in Zuma over the matter.

But online news service News24 cited sources saying that nine ministers, including Gordhan, and six deputy ministers were about to be reshuffled.

Just after 11:15pm ENCA reported that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will by replaced by Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Home Affairs and Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas by Sfiso Buthelezi.

At midnight News24 reported the new ministers as: “Minister of Energy -Mmamoloko “Nkhensani” Kubayi; Minister of Transport – Joe Maswanganyi; Minister of Finance – Malusi Gigaba; Minister of Police – Fikile Mbalula; Minister of Public Works – Nathi Nhleko; Minister of Sports and Recreation – Thembelani Nxesi; Minister of Tourism – Tokozile Xasa; Minister of Public Service and Administration – Ms Faith Muthambi; Minister of Home Affairs – Hlengiwe Mkhize; Minister of Communications- Ayanda Dlodlo.”

The rand turned negative against the dollar on news of the cabinet reshuffle. South Africa’s currency and markets have been under pressure since Monday, when Zuma ordered Gordhan to abandon an investor roadshow in Britain and fly home. Zuma has not given a reason for the recall.

The SACP’S deputy secretary general Solly Mapaila earlier told a news conference the party had registered a formal objection to the planned dismissals of Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas during a meeting with Zuma on Monday.

http://cnbc.africa/zdnl-mc/2017/03/29/s-business-leaders-written-ancs-top-six/

After days of rumors, Mapaila’s comments were the first public confirmation that Zuma intends to dismiss the ministers.

“We objected both to the removal of the comrades as well as the intended replacements … even the reasons given,” Mapaila said referring to Gordhan and Jonas. “Comrade Pravin (Gordhan) has run that ministry with absolute cleanliness.”

Gordhan said on Tuesday that he was still finance minister. On Wednesday, he said he would “open a new chapter” of his life if sacked. Volatile trading in the rand has underlined Gordhan’s reputation among investors as a guardian of policymaking stability in South Africa.

On Wednesday, sources within the ANC told Reuters there was a split down the middle among its six most senior officials, who include Zuma, over whether Gordhan should be sacked.

Zuma does not need the support of the top six to hire and fire ministers but should top ANC members openly criticize his decision it would likely weaken his position in the party.

Nomura analyst Peter Attard Montalto said it was likely Zuma had made up his mind on the cabinet changes.

“It would seem odd to drag the Top6 all the way to Pretoria to simply rehash the division’s of Monday’s meeting. Minds won’t be changed, the splits are set, it seems either he backs down or informs them he’s all in for a full reshuffle.”

For the second consecutive day, the influential ANC Youth League issued a statement backing Zuma’s planned cabinet changes.

Zuma chaired a cabinet meeting late on Wednesday. A statement issued late on Thursday steered clear of any mention of a cabinet reshuffle.

Zuma did not address the subject when speaking to the National House of Traditional Leaders in Cape Town on Thursday but appeared composed and cracked jokes.

ECONOMY STAGNATES

He was ushered out quickly and security officials shielded him from reporters as Zuma entered his luxury sedan. He laughed off questions by reporters on whether he would fire Gordhan.

Some pundits say Gordhan is being pressured by a faction allied to Zuma, which has clashed with him over his plans to rein in government spending, the management of state enterprises and the running of the tax agency as the economy stagnates.

Africa’s most industrialized economy grew by 0.3 percent in 2016 versus 1.3 percent in the previous year.

Pressure has piled on Zuma over his plan to sack Gordhan.

Two senior sources told Reuters Zuma is considering offering to step down next year, at least 12 months before his term as South African president ends, under a deal with opponents in the party that would see Gordhan leave office now.

http://cnbc.africa/news/2017/03/29/expectations-gordhan-will-go-leave-south-african-markets-edge/

The main opposition leader Mmusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance, said he plans to bring a motion of no confidence against Zuma in parliament after his intention to fire Gordhan was confirmed.

Julius Malema, leader of the ultra-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and a former protege of Zuma, filed a court application for disciplinary or impeachment proceedings against the president on Thursday.

(Additonal reporting by Joe Brock in Johannesburg and Wendell Roelf in Cape Town; Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Related Content

Distell CEO: What the sale of alcohol under level 3 means for the industry

South Africans can look forward to popping their favourite bottle of bubbly or sipping on a glass of pinotage to warm up from the cold winter. That’s as alcohol sales, that were banned for over two months under the Covid-19 lock-down, will be lifted. Distell CEO Richard Rushton joins CNBC Africa for more.

COVID-19: Does SA have a plan to wean itself off coal?

As COVID-19 lock-down restrictions were imposed globally, daily global CO₂ emissions in early April 2020 were down 17 per cent compared to the emission levels in the prior year. A number of congested cities around the world are now seeing clearer skies and breathing fresher air. However, the Covid-19 lock-down is only a short-term solution to the social and economic changes that countries need to make to ensure the sustainability and the longevity of climate change actions. Rachael Antwi, Director at Nochua International joins CNBC Africa for more.

COVID-19: This property tech start-up is bringing back the drive-in cinemas to SA

Covid-19 has prevented the entire world from participating in the small pleasures in life like going to the car-wash or watching a movie in the cinema. Companies have been forced to adapt and change business models that would adhere to safe social distancing measures and limited physical interaction in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. One such company is a Property Technology start-up called ParkUpp, they have partnered with a drive-in cinema company to launch drive- cinemas across the country. The cinemas will be set up in quirky and unique venues to fully indulge in the experience of watching movies. Joining CNBC Africa for more is Palesa Moloi, CEO and Co-Founder at ParkUpp.

How to address Africa’s ventilator shortage

Ventilators are an essential tool in the fight against Covid-19. But the continent is suffering from a severe supply shortage. Statistics show there are fewer than 2000 ventilators serving millions of people in Africa. In an attempt to fill the air in Africa’s ventilator market, Uni-Life 100 has launched a new ventilator system to provide mass treatment to patients across the continent. Bob Elshove, Sales Director at Unique Group joins CNBC Africa for more.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

How The Medical Device Supply Chain Failed During Covid-19

More than three months into the coronavirus pandemic, health-care workers on the front-lines of the battle against Covid-19 say they still face shortages of personal protective equipment. The personal protective shortage was one of the early flashpoi

Tsogo Sun Hotels FY profits plunge, COVID-19 lock-downs weigh

Hospitality Group Tsogo Sun Hotels reported a 31 per cent plunge in full year headline earnings per share, with Covid-19 resulting in demand from international tourist retracting in the fourth quarter, due to global lock-downs.

Nampak swings into H1 loss, suffers R3bn impairment

Nampak swung to a half year loss of R2.4 billion as revenue plunged and it impaired its Angola and Nigeria assets by R3 billion, which is four times its market value. The also warned that future profits were in South Africa were at risk from the ban on alcohol sales due to Covid-19 lock-downs. Nampak CEO, Erik Smuts joins CNBC Africa for more.

How COVID-19 impacts the health & well-being of children

Research shows that children have a lower rate of contracting the Coronavirus and bringing infections to the household. This should provide comfort to South African parents that are in two minds about sending their kids back to school next week, when physical teaching is set to resume. Epidemiologist, Dr Boshoff Steenekamp joins CNBC Africa for more.

Partner Content

VIVO CEO is a dynamic leader for this innovative global brand

May 2020 -- Six months ago the vision for vivo in South Africa was just beginning to...

Building Africa’s Biggest Digital Classroom

An enduring lesson learnt throughout our 175-year existence is that, while things rapidly change around us, the things that truly matter don’t!...

Trending Now

How COVID-19 is impacting Rwanda’s entertainment & MICE sectors

The COVID 19 pandemic has impacted all sectors in the world. The Entertainment and MICE sectors are among the most vulnerable ones since from the consumption to the production of the output, large groups of people are required to be gathered together at a certain place. In this episode, CNBC Africa's Fiona Muthoni talks to different players in these sectors to understand the effects of the pandemic....

COVID-19: Economic meltdown the price – skills and trade the answer

Manufacturing is very prone to COVID-19, with many small businesses closing without credit to sustain them. Many had problems as far back as 2015 as they faced changing in markets and also disruptions from electricity and less investment confidence in the South African economy.

How Robots Can Help People With Disabilities Walk Again

The wheelchair has long been the primary solution for those with mobility challenges, yet the design has not changed drastically in hundreds of years. But new walking robots may finally be ready to disrupt the space, with one exoskeleton becoming the

What Happens To Frequent Flyer Miles If An Airline Goes Bankrupt?

With U.S. passenger traffic down by 90%, airlines are desperate to fill seats and are offering big incentives to keep their most reliable customers loyal. But what happens to frequent flyer miles when almost no one is flying and can an airline loyalt
- Advertisement -