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FRIDAY BRIEFING | 2020 Cabinet ratings: Stars, flops and those who scraped through


News24s Cabinet ratings: From those who flopped, those who should never be near executive office to those who scraped through.

A year ago the largest issue facing the South African executive was how to deal with our rapidly rising national debt, right-sizing (and perhaps selling off) struggling state-owned enterprises and trying to pull the states exploding wage bill back.

Inequality and employment was our biggest issue – and along with doing running repairs to a state that had suffered greatly under grand capture, President Cyril Ramaphosas Cabinet had their work cut out for them.

And then the coronavirus hit, and exposed a government with many ministers woefully out of their depth, and state machinery creaking thanks to a combination of ineptitude, corruption and antiquity.

Covid-19 not only showed the extent to which the state has been hollowed out, it also exposed poor decision-making and weak execution. Although Ramaphosa initially spoke a good game, and at the outset at least committed to a transparent and effective government, we saw many ministers (heres looking at Fikile Mbalula, Bheki Cele and Lindiwe Zulu) flailing when confronted with complex problems like a pandemic.

And beyond Covid-19, Pravin Gordhan (public enterprises) and Tito Mboweni (finance) also battled. The former because he simply refused to commit to market forces – and the clinical nature of balance sheets – and refused to let the deadweight that is SAA go. The latter has been vocal about the most basic reforms that the government needs to enact if it wants to create jobs and get the economy going. But he has been thwarted at every turn – does he have any political influence inside the governing party and Cabinet at all? It doesnt look like it.

In this edition of Friday Briefing, News24 runs the rule over the performance of our ministers. There may be some surprises, and some you dont agree with. Read all of em, and keep Qaanitah Hunters appraisal of Ramaphosa and his Cabinet for the end … pudding, if you will.

Stay safe,

Pieter du Toit

Assistant Editor: In-depth news


Cabinet ministers ratings: See how they scored

Find out which ministers pass, fail or just made the cut in 2020 in News24’s Cabinet ratings. 

Cabinet ratings: Government is not doing its citizens justice

It was a difficult year, but it does not necessarily mean that Cabinet stepped up to the plate and ensured we got our taxpayer money’s worth, writes Qaanitah Hunter.

To receive the Friday Briefing, sign up for the newsletter hereNow available to all News24 readers.



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