Zuma cabinet reshuffle: what people are saying

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GroundUp asked members of the public what they think of the axing of the Minister of Finance

Photo of a woman protester
Claudia Klaase from District Six protesting outside Parliament. Photo: Ashraf Hednricks
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GroundUp asked members of the public what they thought of President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle amidst strong opposition, which resulted in the axing of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas. The announcement of the cabinet reshuffle has been followed by protests.

Claudia Klaase from District Six was outside Parliament today. She said, “We should not allow this to be happening to our country … I was here during the 1980s, and we marched and we changed a government, and we’re back here after 1994, and I’m here to say we can change our government if the people stand together.”

Klaase says she thinks there will be bigger marches.

Zanda Shozi, 21, lives in Mdantsane, NU2, East London. Photo: Nombulelo Damba-Hendrik

Zanda Shozi of East London asked, “How can he fire Pravin Gordhan and leave Bathabile Dlamini [the minister responsible for social grants]?”

“This man [Zuma] is selling us to Guptas now.”

“It is clear the ANC is scared of him. Now it is time we tell them what to do, because when they want votes, they come to us. Now it is our time to put our demands first,” she said.

Buyile Skotshi, 32, is a truck assistant in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth. Photo: Joseph Chirume

Motherwell, Port Elizabeth resident Buyile Skotshi, said he had never trusted Zuma.

“Zuma must just step down to save this country from total collapse. He is a person whose decisions have destroyed the economy of this country. Unemployment is spiralling uncontrollably. The rand was once the pride of Africa, but now it’s regarded as the most volatile currency in the world … He has presided over a government that is rotten from the top to the bottom.”

Masixole Butho, 29, is unemployed and lives in Port Elizabeth. Photo: Joseph Chirume

Unemployed Motherwell resident Masixole Butho said: “I would like to believe that the purpose of a government is to create fertile conditions for investors to open factories in our country, resulting in the creation of employment … Zuma’s economic policies discourage investors, hence the high unemployment rate … How can a President recall a Minister and his deputy from an overseas trip where they were promoting the country as a potential investment destination?”

“He has to vacate the presidency and pave the way for an educated and rational person who will salvage us from this socio-economic upheaval he created.”

Jacques Booysen, 32, of Woodstock. Photo: Ashleigh Furlong

Jacques Booysen of Woodstock says it was “a very stupid decision” to fire Gordhan.

“Zuma wants his family to be rich,” he said. While Zuma is president “nothing is actually happening” in the country. “He just doesn’t care, [all] he cares for is his himself and his family.”

Booysen works in a business selling windows and door frames in Woodstock. He also joined the protest at Helen Bowden Nurses Home over affordable housing.

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