Mr President, as a concerned citizen, I have names for you to consider for a dream cabinet, writes Marius Oosthuizen.
Mr President, the news is that you’re thinking of playing Russian roulette with the cabinet.Why would you retain Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, a fiscal conservative stymieing your energetic expenditure programme? Especially if you have Brian Molefe in the job market since being shown by the Public Protector to be frequenting your Saxonwold war-room on white monopoly capital?

Mr President, as a concerned citizen, I have names for you to consider for a dream cabinet.

For starters, you could deploy two deputy presidents, one focused on foreign affairs – and African relations in particular, and the second on our domestic governance and the economy. May I suggest Cyril Ramaphosa for the first? He is articulate and has the personality of a global leader. Let’s make Gordhan vice-president for the domestic agenda, a de facto prime minister. People trust him, he gets the economy and he’s a tough boss, apparently.

I know this won’t unite the ANC and ANC unity is crucial to retaining power, so let’s give Naledi Pandor the Presidency. She is a battle-hardened public servant. Won’t that be something special, a functioning African democracy led by a woman? Between them, a bull of a man, a servant of the people and a mother of the nation, we’d be well led.

Pull Tito Mboweni out of retirement to run the Treasury with Mcebisi Jonas as his deputy. The business sector would love it. Merge the departments of Trade and Industry, Economic Development and Labour to create a single ministry, a Nedlac-style one-stop shop, and fast-track David Makhura to run it with Rob Davies as his deputy. Davies knows what the economy needs and Makhura has proved to be an efficient, straight-up public servant with a penchant for accountability. Investor confidence will spike.

Imagine having Thuli Madonsela run the Department of Justice? Alongside the likes of Moegoeng Moegoeng at the Constitutional Court, our judiciary will be in good hands.

As for State-owned Enterprises, merge these with Public Works and create a single department at the core of enabling our “developmental state”. Minister Lindiwe Sisulu could lead this. Call Parks Tau to be her deputy. Sisulu’s experience and Tau’s youthful vigour wow!

Water and Energy are the bedrock of our national systems. I can think of no one better than Zweli Mkhize. Let Lynne Brown stay on as his deputy, she knows the terrain.

Now for the sensitive matter of State Security. Definitely David Mabuza, a solid guy who won’t be manipulated. Why don’t we forgive Bheki Cele for his mistakes in the police and let him back Mabuza as deputy?

We will need strong friendships with other states and its time for a new chapter at The Department of International Relations and Co-operation. Move Jeff Radebe to this portfolio, with Paul Mashatile as his deputy. The soft-spoken Radebe with the clear-minded Mashatile, what a combination.

Education is a crucial portfolio. I would pull Joel Netshitenzhe out of retirement and create a single systems view of education and resource Joel with three deputies: Angie Motshekga on Basic Education and Derek Hanekom on tertiary. Then, do something radical with secondary – pull in the rising star of Dr Louise van Rhyn, the inspiring social entrepreneur fixing our schools through partnership with the private sector.

Given the importance of land reform and food security, we need a new approach. How about we create a single ministry for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and get young blood to tackle the problem? How about we head-hunt Lindiwe Mazibuko?

There are a few ministries I have not touched on, but didn’t want to leave off the most crucial reshuffle of the lot. Mr President, please shuffle along and allow someone with credibility to run the country. It’s not that we don’t like you, it’s that we don’t trust you, and trust is the basis for co-operation. We need a unifying leader. Someone who inspires our confidence. Who puts the country before the party, before their clan, their family, their friends and themselves. Mr President, if you must reshuffle, stack the deck in favour of the national interest.

* Marius Oosthuizen is a member of faculty at the Gordon Institute of Business Science. He teaches leadership, strategy and ethics. He writes in his personal capacity.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of HINNEWS Media.