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If Pravin Gordhan does leave, it will be of his own accord - Melanie Verwoerd

19 January 2020 1:57 PM
Tags:
Eskom
ANC NEC meeting
ANC lekgotla
President Cyril Ramaphosa
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan
SA's troubled SOEs
The political analyst discusses pressure on the Public Enterprises minister and the president amid crucial weekend ANC meetings.

The ANC has said the crisis at state-owned enterprises (SOEs) heads the agenda as its national executive committee (NEC) lekgotla kicked off in Irene near Pretoria on Sunday.

The lekgotla comes ahead of the State of the Nation address in February and follows the meeting of the NEC.

There's also been speculation that the weekend meetings will determine the fate of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan - tasked with turning SOEs around - amid growing calls from certain groupings for his removal.

RELATED: 'Ramaphosa doomed if he removes Gordhan, doomed if he does not'

Political analyst and former ANC MP Melanie Verwoerd counters this by saying the party would never put the firing of a minister on the agenda, although this would not preclude members from criticism of Gordhan during discussions.

Verwoerd says she cannot see President Cyril Ramaphosa getting rid of his loyal ally at this point and that if Gordhan does go, it will be of his own accord and probably within the next year.

There's a lot of pressure on Pravin. We have to acknowledge that he is one of the most courageous, bravest men that has been in our political arena over the last two decades...

Melanie Verwoerd - Author, analyst and former ANC MP

However, he's not been able to solve the problem at Eskom and the other SOEs. One has to acknowledge that most of that is probably unsolvable in the short term. I think it's William Gumede who wrote... that it will basically take another five or six years because the mess is so big.

Melanie Verwoerd - Author, analyst and former ANC MP

She discusses the issues she thinks make it difficult for Gordhan to head the Public Enterprises portfolio.

I'd be surprised if he's still the minister of Public Enterprises in a year's time because I think there are a number of problems for him.

Melanie Verwoerd - Author, analyst and former ANC MP

His own personal conflict with people in the ANC is distracting him.

Melanie Verwoerd, Author, analyst and former ANC MP

I also think ideologically he finds it very, very hard to deal with privatisation issues as well as job loss issues... It is always rumoured that he and Tito Mboweni don't really get along very well...

Melanie Verwoerd - Author, analyst and former ANC MP

Commenting on speculation that Ramaphosa is planning a Cabinet reshuffle, Verwoerd had this to say:

Of course it is his prerogative to shuffle the Cabinet and he might feel that he needs different skills in there, but his motivation cannot be seen as pushing out the last remaining supporters of [former] president Zuma in his Cabinet. Because that would not help him in this already tricky situation that he's facing inside the ANC as they lead up to the NGC (national general council).

Melanie Verwoerd - Author, analyst and former ANC MP

Listen to the discussion on Weekend Breakfast with Africa Melane:


19 January 2020 1:57 PM
Tags:
Eskom
ANC NEC meeting
ANC lekgotla
President Cyril Ramaphosa
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan
SA's troubled SOEs

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