Our ministers’ failures and successes

Looking back on the past 12 months of cabinet ministers’ service to the public, we evaluate their successes and shortcomings. For some of the ministers who do not feature below, they simply provided nothing to write home about

Pravin Gordhan (Early shower: )

The legend of Pravin Gordhan is unravelling. Increasingly, more and more people are beginning to see through the facade that has seen the public enterprises minister being hoisted on a pedestal and declared a symbol of excellence.


Thulas Nxesi (Early shower:)

The ANC Youth League has labelled labour minister Thulas Nxesi as the minister of unemployment. Despite the country’s high unemployment rate, Nxesi, a communist minister in the ANC government, has managed to stay anonymous and enjoy the blue lights. He woke up after the signing of the R5-billion Thuja Capital deal and began questioning. The other version is that he quietly wanted to line his pockets. The courts will soon tell, but whatever the outcome, Nxesi has long passed his sell-by date.


Mondli Gungubele (Early shower: )

Not long ago, Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Mondli Gungubele grabbed a nearby loudhailer and broadcast a chest-beating announcement that he had fired people who had already resigned. The then-outgoing board of Postbank had embarrassingly dribbled the former intelligence minister, whom they described as hostile from day one. Of course, Gungubele’s demotion is evidence that not even President Cyril Ramaphosa rated him highly. Only time will soon tell how much of a stranglehold the Chris Hani cabal, linked to Gungubele and other ministers from the Eastern Cape, still has on Ramaphosa.

But so far, Gungubele has been kicked to the periphery, and logic suggests a suitable substitute is probably already warming up.

Thandi Modise (Early shower: )

Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise faced a challenging start to the year due to speculation about her rocky relationship with President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Lady R public relations scandal. Despite her ability to bring stability to any role, she has served for too long and has run out of stamina and interest. This may explain why paying reparations to military veterans has become a mountain to climb. She has served for too long.

Mamoloko Kubayi (Passop: )

Human Settlements Minister Mamoloko Kubayi has gained political prominence by claiming her competence to head a key subcommittee on economic transformation. That is a vote of confidence. In government, Kubayi has fought against the construction mafia and pursued the Cape Town DA mayor to relocate shack dwellers along the metro train line. But the money spent on litigating the case of a fired senior manager who was stuck on the lift was not worth it.

Angie Motshekga (Playmaker: )

Mama Angie has been consistent with one thing: improving the matric results and stabilising the education sector. Post-Covid-19, the schooling system has recovered quite well under the education minister’s stewardship. Except for a few incidences of racism at schools here and there, Motshekga has largely done well. Also, that controversial Bela Bill almost ruined her good reputation, but it is the 400 members of parliament who must be blamed if anyone should be blamed. With 15 years on the job, maybe she must dedela abanye after next year’s general elections.

Aaron Motsoaledi (Playmaker: )

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has a sharp intellect. His most impressive attribute is his communication skills. He communicates complex ideas clearly and simply. For that reason, he sounds like he knows what he is doing and comes across as passionate, which inspires public confidence.

Naledi Pandor (Playmaker: )

Minister Naledi Pandor, despite her age, is considered one of the few sharp knives in South Africa due to the mediocre young leaders produced by the governing ANC. As the Minister for International Relations and Corporation, Pandor has stood up against global bullies like the US and Israel with daring tenacity. She has shown independence of thought, action, and choice.

Ronald Lamola (Passop: )

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola, who previously ran for the ANC presidency, has been praised by the mainstream liberal media for his potential as an answer to EFF’s Julius Malema. However, he faced political scares when his law firm was linked to shoddy work at the National Lotteries Commission. Lamola also promised to bring the UAE-based Gupta brothers back to South Africa for a trial, but his efforts failed.

Khumbudzo Ntshavheni (Playmaker: )

In Cabinet circles, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni is known as President Cyril Ramaphosa’s chief prefect and his right-hand woman. She is credited with micromanaging the security cluster during the EFF national lockdown. For her ability to speak her mind and express her opinion, Ntshavheni is notorious for stepping on toes. But she is equally effective at her work.

Gwede Mantashe (Passop: )

The Tiger is praised for standing up against the renewables lobby, which bulldozes its way at the cost of the country’s economy. As Mineral Resources and Energy minister Mantashe has been the only voice against this selfish group. Mantashe looked the other way at the messy procurement of diesel by Eskom from PetroSA. But his short listing of a shady character in Nkululeko Poya for the position of CEO at PetroSA is a no.

Enoch Godongwana (Early shower: )

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has been criticised for poor performance and for often being missing in action. Understanding his health situation, which is partly to blame for his absence during times of crisis, such as during the Competition Commission report on rand manipulation, this man can do better. The National Treasury has been subjecting South Africa to austerity measures under his watch, and the country was grey listed this year due to the absence of consequences for illicit financial flows or similar offences.

Bheki Cele (Early shower: )

Police Minister Bheki Cele is criticised for his poor performance in the country, despite the high level of crime. He is constantly seeking attention and blowing hot air every chance he gets where a high-profile crime has been committed. Cele talks tough, but he has still not found the killers of AKA. He reached new lows when he appeared at Operation Dudula’s Nhlanhla Lux’s home, which was petrol bombed in a staged attention-seeking stunt to steal the limelight from the EFF national shutdown protest action.

Joe Phaahla (Early shower: )

Health Minister Joe Phaahla has disappeared since the Covid-19 pandemic, amid health issues like fake doctors and a failing public healthcare system. Despite efforts to push through the National Health Insurance (NHI), Phaahla remains absent from explaining its meaning to the public. He is content to collect his monthly salary, while public hospitals in Gauteng and other provinces are on the brink of collapse.

Blade Nzimande (Early shower: )

Former president Jacob Zuma fired Blade Nzimande as minister of higher education, but incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa brought him back. Nzimande’s portfolio has been a disaster, with the chopping and changing of executives at NSFAS. He attempted to place Unisa under administration, which ended in tears. Nzimande was implicated in alleged bribery. What is wrong with these communists?

Senzo Mchunu (Passop: )

Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu has not been the same since he took over in 2017 when he missed being elected the ANC secretary general by a whisker. The itchy scar would have deepened when President Cyril Ramaphosa snubbed him for the same post last December. Yes, the water and sanitation portfolio is a big responsibility, and taking over the post is evidence that Mchunu is head and shoulders above many of his ANC peers.

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