Members of Parliament (MPs) are expected to vote for a new president on Thursday afternoon. Acting president Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to win the vote and should if all goes to plan, be sworn into office by this evening.
Far from easing into his new position, Ramaphosa will have an incredibly full schedule. Firstly he needs to prepare for the State of the Nation Address (SONA) which is now expected to take place on Friday night.
Briefly.co.za looks at 5 other urgent items which Ramaphosa should do to give South Africans hope and to set the right tone for his tenure as president.
1. Cabinet reshuffle
While cabinet reshuffles have in the past been the cause of political, social and economic upheaval, a reshuffle by Ramaphosa is likely to go down as positive news with South Africans and investors.
Ramaphosa is likely to appoint Lindiwe Sisulu as the deputy president of the country (nothing in the Constitution forces Ramaphosa to appoint ANC deputy president, David Mabuza, as the deputy of the country).
Ramaphosa should fire the following ministers:
Bathabile Dlamini – the minister of social development has nearly brought the department to its knees. Under her the ANC’s flagship social welfare programme on which millions of the most vulnerable depend nearly collapsed. Dlamini has also shown blatant disregard for the law and Parliament.
Mosebenzi Zwane – the minister of mineral resources is widely believed to be the most captured of the so-called Gupta ministers. Zwane oversaw the infamous Estina farm transaction, his first act when appointed to his current portfolio was helping the Guptas acquire Optimum mine.
Bongani Bongo – the minister of state security is being investigated by the Hawks for corruption in Mpumalanga. Allegations have also been made that Bongo tried to bribe the leader of evidence in the state capture probe.
Faith Muthambi – the minister of public services and administration is alleged to have passed on cabinet meeting minutes to the Gupta family. Muthambi previously served as the minister of communication, under her the SABC nearly collapsed.
David Mahlobo – the minister of energy was appointed in Zuma’s final cabinet reshuffle, he was tasked by Zuma to rush the controversial nuclear build programme through.
Ramaphosa should also consider moving Fikile Mbalula out of the police ministry, Mbalula deserves to remain in cabinet, but he is not the right person to head what is expected to be a hard anti-corruption drive.
2. Establish an anti-corruption unit
Ramaphosa ran for ANC president with the promise of stamping out corruption within the ruling party and crucially bringing corrupt government officials to book.
To make this a reality Ramaphosa will need to establish an effective mechanism for people to reveal and expose corrupt officials and activities.
Ramaphosa will also need to establish a strong, highly trained, well-staffed and efficient unit which works independently to investigate and unravel new and old allegations.
3. Cancel the nuclear build programme and embrace green energy
Ramaphosa has already said South Africa cannot afford the nuclear build programme, he should officially cancel the deal as quickly as possible. He should also look into ways for the government to invest in green and renewable energy sources over the coming decade.
4. Fire Shaun Abrahams and appoint a new NPA chief
Ramaphosa already has the legal authority to appoint a new national director of public prosecutions after the Pretoria High Court ruling found Shaun Abrahams’ appointment to be irregular.
Ramaphosa should act immediately to fill the position with one of the many excellent choices on offer. Thuli Madonsela and Gerrie Nel come to mind as possibilities.
5. Fire Tom Moyane and appoint a new SARS boss
The South African Revenue Services (SARS) was once a gleaming example of how an efficient government department should be run. Since then Tom Moyane has brought the agency to its knees.
SARS lost numerous skilled and dedicated officials under Moyane’s leadership.
Ramaphosa needs to replace Moyane with someone who will steady the ship and attract talent back to the agency.
READ ALSO: Zuma is gone, what happens next?
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