Presidency rejects reshuffle rumours

The Presidency has dismissed as “mischievous” reports about an impending Cabinet reshuffle and‚ at the same time‚ has also pointed out that if the President makes any ministerial changes he is under no obligation to inform the Cabinet or the National Executive.
With regards to ongoing reports about an alleged pending Cabinet reshuffle‚ the Presidency stated: “Misguided speculation of this nature is mischievous and misleading. We urge that Cabinet be afforded the necessary respect and space to work.”

It said it had also noted media reports stating that the Cabinet had not been informed about the appointment of David van Rooyen as the new Minister of Finance.

“There is no obligation on the part the President of the Republic to inform or consult other members of Cabinet or the National Executive prior to making any new appointments or changes. The only people who are informed are those affected by the changes.

“The President exercises his prerogative in making the appointments and then issues a public announcement‚” the Presidency said.

President Jacob Zuma gave the assurance on Friday that Van Rooyen’s appointment did not signal a change in the government’s fiscal stance.

“Government will not abandon the fiscal path that we have chosen in the last few years. Maintaining a prudent fiscal position remains one of government’s top priorities.

“The new Minister will strengthen the path and continue to support all efforts aimed at improving the lives of ordinary South Africans‚” Zuma stated. He thanked the former Minister of Finance‚ Nhlanhla Nene for “his sterling contribution to the National Executive and to taking forward the goals of building a better life for all our people”.

He added that the urgency of the changes in the leadership of the National Treasury had been “occasioned by the need to send nominations to Shanghai‚ of the head of the African Regional Centre of the New Development Bank/BRICS Bank‚ to be based in Johannesburg. Mr Nene is our candidate for this position.”

“Government remains committed to adhering to the set expenditure ceiling while maintaining a stable trajectory of our debt portfolio‚ as set out in the February 2015 Budget.

“Our commitment to diversifying our economy‚ reduce the cost of doing business and utilizing resources much more efficiently to enable a more inclusive economic growth remains important.

“We will continue to improve the budget process in order to maintain our international reputation as a global leader in budget transparency‚” Zuma stated.