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Ferial Haffajee: What On Earth Did JZ Just Do?

Jacob Zuma and Pravin Gordhan

But there are some silver linings: Here are the ministers who may actually do a good job.

President Jacob Zuma has moved one of his strongest loyalists Mmamoloko ‘Nkhensani’ Kubayi into the energy portfolio signaling a push on the nuclear deal.

Kubayi fought hard for Zuma in parliament during the crisis on the spending at his Nkandla home.

Former Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson is gone, with confidantes saying she fell out of favour for taking too long to ink the nuclear deal and for pushing for new renewable energy contracts to be signed. The Zuma administration has lost its taste for solar and wind energy, favouring a radical push for nuclear, valued at over R1-trillion.

He has installed as finance minister a second loyalist, former Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba. Gigaba was close to former president Thabo Mbeki but quickly won the favour of Zuma with his cocky confidence and appeal among the youth. Zuma stepped back from appointing former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe as finance minister and he now remains marooned on the backbenches of parliament. He has been overlooked even for the deputy minister’s job which goes to Sfiso Buthelezi, a long-standing Zuma confidante.

With both the Energy and Treasury portfolios now sealed, President Zuma is able to thrust ahead on many key deals his detractors say he needs to secure his retirement. By December, when the ANC chooses its new leadership, the president will be a lame duck, unable to direct the fiscus any longer.

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Source: The Huffington Post.
31/03/2017 02:42 SAST | Updated 31/03/2017 14:53 SAST. Ferial Haffajee.

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