President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his new cabinet last night (Monday) at the Union Buildings. ‘I wish to express my appreciation to all outgoing Ministers and Deputy Ministers for their service to government and to the people of South Africa,’ Ramaphosa said before his announcement. As with any cabinet reshuffle, this news was met with a fair share of welcome changes, but also a resounding sense of disappointment. Women are particularly outraged at the appointment of Bathabile Dlamini as the Minister of Women.
While Ramaphosa’s new cabinet consists of 12 female MPs, which by political standards is a relatively high number, the mind boggles at Ms Bathabile Dlamini’s appointment as Minister of Women, given the fact that she has failed South African women on multiple occasions and not forgetting the social grants inquiry, where she was found to have obstructed Sassa at every turn to find a new payment system service.
And South Africans have not held back on their critique of the president’s decision, creating quite a stir on Twitter last night:
Bathabile Dlamini is now the minister of women. Women, please accept our deepest sympathy, men.
— #PuppetGuy, book @computicket JHB, @webtickets CT (@chestermissing) February 26, 2018
— Mandisa (@mandisa_nkosi) February 26, 2018
Bathabile Dlamini has essentially been rewarded with a promotion into the presidency regardless of the fact that she nearly collapsed the social grants system for the poor. #CabinetReshuffle
— EFF (@EFFSouthAfrica) February 26, 2018
Bathabile Dlamini’s ancestors work harder than Cardi B.
I honestly don’t understand how someone with so many public failures is still a minister. Minister of Women, whom she does not give a single shit about.
— Baatile (@_Baatile) February 26, 2018
Three big captured ministers gone: Lynne Brown; Des van Rooyen and Mosebenzi Zwane
Three regarded as being in captured networks survive: Malusi Gigaba, Bathabile Dlamini and Nomvula Mokonyane
— Ferial Haffajee (@ferialhaffajee) February 26, 2018
A giant step back for womankind #BathabileDlamini
— Faranaaz Veriava (@faranaazveriava) February 26, 2018
Lmao Bathabile Dlamini is responsible for women. In what world has she ever stood up for women 😂Imagine. What a joke #CabinetReshuffle
— Bonolo Tlhoaele (@its_Bonolo) February 26, 2018
As a young, black , disabled, woman with a child…I reject the appointment of Bathabile Dlamini😕😔…She CANNOT and WILL NOT do anything for us😩#CabinetReshuffle
— Unathi (@Unatee_Nje) February 26, 2018
Bathabile Dlamini: responsible for a national crisis, completely incapable – and now in charge of fighting the patriarchy.
— Phillip de Wet (@phillipdewet) February 26, 2018
Other newly appointed MPs which sparked the biggest reactions were David Mabuza as the Deputy President, Naledi Pandor as the Minister of Higher Education & Training, Bheki Cele’s reappointment as Minister of Police, Malusi Gigaba as the Minister of Home Affairs, Lindiwe Sisulu as the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
But even in the face of such disappointing (and terrifying) news, we can still embrace Naledi Pandor as the Minister of Higher Education and Training, as she’s an MP who has always been known to deliver and challenge issues head-on – a victory for higher education in our country.