President Cyril Ramaphosa has reportedly summoned the top leadership of the tripartite alliance, which consists of the ANC, labour federation COSATU and SACP, to a meeting ahead of a possible Cabinet reshuffle.
This is according to a Business Day report on Thursday afternoon (5 August) that cited unnamed sources from the three organisations.
Cabinet reshuffle an ‘ongoing consideration’
According to the publication, Ramaphosa was expected to brief the leaders on his proposed changes to the Cabinet during the meeting, which was reportedly called for Thursday afternoon.
The President signalled last week that he was considering a reshuffle following widespread criticism of the government’s slow response to the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last month.
“The issue of reconfiguring a cabinet is an ongoing consideration by any president,” he said during an engagement with the media in Gauteng.
“You look at how you deploy the people who you are working with and how you place those people to execute various tasks, so it is an ongoing process of evaluation and all that. So it’s not something that we would say it’s a process that is outlandish, we continue to look at it.”
No consultation yet – Duarte
Addressing the media on the outcomes of an ANC National Working Committee (NWC) meeting earlier on Thursday, Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte indicated that Ramaphosa had not yet consulted the party.
“Yes, the president does consult. No, he has not called us [the top six] for such a consultation as yet. When he does call us for such, we will go and hear what his plans are, but at this moment I am not being told that I should be making my way anywhere,” she said.
“At this point in time, there is nothing to share with you except to say that we hear from you that there is a buzz around reshuffling, and we will wait and see. If it happens then we’ll also know when you know.”
It is speculated that Ministers in the security cluster may be affected by the reshuffle. They include Police Minister Bheki Cele, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has also been on special leave since June after he was implicated in the Digital Vibes scandal. He has steadfastly denied wrongdoing.
There is also a vacancy left by the late Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu. Small Business Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has been acting in that position since his passing, while Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has been acting in Mkhize’s position.