JOHANNESBURG, February 16 – The African National Congress (ANC) has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inaugural state-of-the-nation (SONA) delivered in Parliament on Friday evening, saying that it touched on many critical aspects of the work of government.
Ramaphosa delivered a comprehensive SONA in which he outlined government programmes such as boosting economic growth, reducing unemployment, dealing with corruption and reducing government deficit.
ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe said that the SONA had been the collective work of the ruling party on how government should function going forward.
“What you should appreciate is that in the ANC we are involved in a very long process that culminates into the state of the nation address. That is why, within a short period of time, President Ramaphosa could just fit in into the programme and deliver the state of the nation address. So those issues are a product of a long process that involves all of us,” Mantashe told reporters outside Parliament.
Ramaphosa said that government will initiate a process to review the configuration, number and size of national departments and that government will change the way that boards of state-owned enterprises are appointed so that only people with expertise, experience and integrity serve in these vital positions.
Mantashe said this was not a threat to put officials on notice to vacate their positions, but a mechanism of making sure that government works efficiently and delivers.
“It is not putting people on notice. It is to make the State efficient and effective, That’s the key word that came from the President. We are not going to have many departments, we are going to reduce the number and consolidate the work. But the implementation and execution will be more efficient and effective,” Mantashe added.
Manstashe though would not be drawn on whether Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba will be the one delivering the Budget Speech next week as speculation of his reshuffling emerged, saying only that Gigaba was still the minister of finance.