Cabinet reshuffle coming ‘in a matter of days’

Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to announce a minister of electricity and a reshuffled cabinet “in a matter of days”.

This is according to presidential spokesman Vincent Magwenya, who was addressing media on Wednesday.

“There are vacancies in cabinet. We also now have a vacancy in the role of a deputy president, and so there is a sense of urgency that the president fill those vacancies as soon as possible. In a matter of days, that announcement will be made.

“The president has to apply his mind. The appointment of cabinet members and the management of cabinet is not something that you can conduct in haste. It’s something that has to be carefully considered because you have to look at the stability of government, you have to look at the programmes that are already under way,” Magwenya said.

Answering questions on former Eskom CEO André de Ruyter’s allegations that senior government officials and at least two Cabinet Ministers are allegedly involved in corruption at the power utility, Magwenya said: “What [De Ruyter] has said is nothing new to the extent that we know that there is corruption at Eskom.

“More importantly, government has responded to that level of criminality that exists within Eskom through a multi-disciplinary task team that has been deployed to Eskom through the NatJoints. That includes all the law enforcement agencies, including state security … and they are dealing with every aspect of wrongdoing going on at Eskom,” he said.

‘A duty’

Magwenya said Ramaphosa does not have the names of those cabinet ministers allegedly involved in wrongdoing at the state-owned power utility and therefore cannot factor that into his impending cabinet reshuffle decision.

“What the president has said is that Mr De Ruyter should approach law enforcement agencies with all the evidence and all the information that he has. He has a duty to do so, and he had a duty to provide that information to law enforcement agencies as the CEO of Eskom.

Read: De Ruyter ousted after tearing into the ANC

“The president has also been on record to say that we now have law enforcement agencies that have been empowered to operate without any fear or favour. We know we come from an era where some of these law enforcement agencies were ameliorated of skills, were disempowered in so many ways. That has changed… They now investigate without any fear or favour.

Read: Electricity minister will focus on power crisis ‘day-in and day-out’

“So, anybody who has any information that can assist in curbing the levels of corruption at Eskom is urged to take that information to law enforcement agencies so that it can be fully investigated,” Magwenya said.

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