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Gigaba on possible Cabinet reshuffle: No one joined the struggle to be minister

Feb 16 2018 19:31
Lameez Omarjee

Cape Town - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba told journalists that it is up to the President to appoint ministers and that he serves at the pleasure of the President.

An upbeat Gigaba arrived at the State of the Nation Address (SONA) at Parliament on Friday evening. While walking on the red carpet alongside his wife Nomachule Mngoma, he spoke of his expectations for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address.

“It’s going to be a great speech, I look forward to it,” he said.

When asked if he would be delivering the Budget Speech on February 21, given speculation that Ramaphosa might reshuffle the Cabinet over the weekend, Gigaba simply said: “I serve at the pleasure of the President.”

“The President can appoint ministers, he can remove others. It is not the end of the world, we remain Members of Parliament.

“Nobody joined the struggle in order to become a minister and so we will continue to serve the ANC and the people of South Africa in whatever capacity assigned to us,” he said.

“We serve at the pleasure of the President. The President will decide what direction he wants to take. All I can say is see you again somewhere.”

Even though Gigaba would not elaborate on where the “somewhere” in government he will be, he said that South Africans must look forward to the Budget Speech, which is going to be “exciting”.

He did not elaborate on the funding for state-owned enterprises, such as state airlines SAA and SA Express, which has become a cause for concern for rating agencies and investors. “We are going to be speaking at the budget on Wednesday, and so we will answer that question and provide a clear direction as to where SAA is going and South African Express, Mango and so on.”

On Eskom, Gigaba said he would remain concerned about Eskom’s debt until there is a plan to address its funding and operational model.

“We’ve only just changed the board, we’ve only just addressed some pertinent challenges with regards management. But the very fundamental problem with Eskom is its operational and funding model remains unaddressed," he said. 

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