Monday, November 1, 2010

Zuma's Cabinet Reshuffle - The Good News

South African newspapers on Monday hailed President Jacob Zuma's cabinet reshuffle, calling it a balancing act between improving government services and easing tensions within the ruling party.

Zuma on Sunday fired seven ministers, the biggest reshuffle in the country's democratic history, in what he said was a bid to better meet the needs of the country's poor by holding government officials accountable for progress.

"Zuma has finally broken with one frustrating aspect of South Africa's 16 years of democracy: he has fired someone," The Times newspaper said.

Business Day newspaper said Zuma's reshuffle less than two years into his presidency was "an effort to get his stuttering presidency in the front foot after 16 months of delivery delays, political infighting and growing complaints about his leadership."

The new ministers will be sworn in on Monday.

The Star said Zuma's had "executed a delicate and calculated political balancing act."

"Zuma moved to restore public confidence by dealing with non-performers, some of who were described by some members of the national executive committee of the ANC (African National Congress) as embarrassments," the newspaper said.

Among those axed was controversial communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda, a senior official in the ruling ANC, who previously served as the head of the South African National Defence Force.

Also sacked was Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, the minister for women, children and people with disabilities, who had faced criticism for failing to get the newly established ministry off the ground.

There were no changes however at key ministries such as finance, foreign affairs and home affairs