Sunday, April 09, 2017

The ANC Youth League Views on the Announcement of Cabinet Reshuffle
31 March 2017

The ANC Youth League is excited, happy, overjoyed and jubilant at the announcement by President Jacob Zuma on the cabinet reshuffle.

The ANCYL warmly welcomes the changes in Cabinet made by President Jacob Zuma, as announced in a statement earlier today. As the ANCYL we have consistently expressed our support for the democratically elected president to exercise his prerogative of appointing Ministers and Deputy Minister who serve at his behest.

We have consistently said, and maintain, the belief that no one is above the ANC, and no one is irreplaceable. The constitution grants the President, and the president alone, the powers to appoint the Cabinet. While all stakeholders, including business and investors have important roles to play and cooperate with government; those roles do not include participating in the appointment of any member of the Cabinet.

We are pleased that, in the statement announcing the changes, it was explicitly mentioned that, "The changes bring some younger MPs and women into the National Executive in order to benefit from their energy, experience and expertise." This is consistent with the position we adopted at our 25th National Congress and later fought, and won, at the 2015 ANC NGC, that young people should form, at least 40%, of leadership in all spheres of society.

In his statement, President Zuma went on to say, "I have directed the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers to work tirelessly with their colleagues to bring about radical socio-economic transformation and to ensure that the promise of a better life for the poor and the working class becomes a reality." This has been our persistent battle cry, that ANC leaders that are deployed in government should implement the policy positions of the ANC to the letter.

Following the never-ending scare-mongering relating to the Finance portfolio, we extend a special congratulation to the Minister of Finance, Cde Malusi Gigaba. Cde Gigaba was the longest serving President of the ANCYL. Since 2004, he has held various positions in government in which he discharged his duties with diligence and competence.

We believe that Cde Gigaba understands, and will pursue, the radical economic transformation that will reduce poverty and fight inequality. His humility and discipline will help ensure that the country wins the confidence of credible and legitimate investors. At the some time, his political clarity and firmness will ensure that the space for those who resist transformation is squeezed.

We are confident that with him at the helm, the sky is not going to fall, as we were made to believe by some commentators and scare mongers. It is our sincere hope that the public servants at Treasury will cooperate with him and not attempt to hinder his execution of radical economic transformation.

In the same vein, we thank the President from the bottom of our hearts for heeding our consistent and unflinching call for the ANC to become younger at the top leadership level, our 25th National Congress has called for that, at least, 40% of all decision making structures should constitute young people. President Zuma`s ANC today possesses young Mayors, Young Municipal Speakers, young MMC`s, young Chief Whips, etc.

Today President Zuma has gone further to call on the likes of Bongani Mkongi (former ANCYL Western Cape Provincial chairperson), Cde Tandi Mahambehlala (former ANCYL Provincial Secretary), Cde Nkensani Khubayi (former ANCYL Gauteng Provincial Deputy Secretary), Cde Stella Ndabeni Abrahams (former ANCYL NEC member) Cde Joe Maswanganyi (former ANCYL Deputy President) who will join other young lions in the form of Cde Buti Manamela and Mduduzi Manana.

President Zuma has vindicated and restored our confidence in his leadership. He continues to enjoy support in the ANCYL because of his decisiveness when it comes to youth development. While we may not always fully agree with what often seem to be his over-consultations, which are often betrayed through media briefings, and his willingness to compromise, we appreciate his attempt to achieve unity within the movement. We hope the comrades with whom he consults and reach comprises with, will be courteous enough to work for the retention of unity he is committed to foster.

We wish the new cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers all the best in their new responsibilities and the ANCYL calls on all young people in the ANC and society to support and welcome this revolutionary cabinet reshuffle.

We will continue to express ourselves, if necessary, where we feel any member of the Cabinet is hindering the progress the ANC seeks.

We have noted a statement of the purported Save SA, and reactions from some quarters, which go against Section 91(2) of the Constitution that says, "The President appoints the Deputy President and Ministers, assigns their powers and functions, and may dismiss them." It is odd that those who often pretend to be defenders of the constitution are the very same people who are now attacking the constitution when they are unhappy with the exercise of the powers bestowed by it.

Unfortunately for them, democracy is about mass mobilization and winning the elections. Some believe that just because they have a briefcase, a fax, a telephone, an internet connections, a website and social media accounts, they can now somehow co-govern with the democratically elected President. It will not happen.


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