What Exactly Is A Shadow Cabinet?

You may have heard the terms Shadow Cabinet or Shadow Minister thrown around a lot in the news. Particularly when the government has wasted all our money, sold our country’s soul or performed their duties really, really badly. So, every single day then.

Simply put, a shadow cabinet is a group of opposition politicians who shadow the members of government. So, for instance, in South Africa we have a shadow cabinet comprised of DA members. These members, or shadow ministers, will essentially challenge or debate their corresponding ministers of the government cabinet and call them out whenever they wet the bed.

This means that poor, unfortunate people like Phumzile van Damme, David Maynier and Zakhele Mbhele are constantly babysitting a bunch of imbeciles. Don’t even get us started on current Shadow Minister of Public Service and Administration, Desiree Van Der Walt, who quite simply deserves a medal of some kind for having to put up with Faith Muthambi.

And then of course, in the peculiar case of the ANC, the DA shadow ministers barely have time to memorize the names of their counterparts before Zuma shuffles his entire cabinet around.

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Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet

The DA’s Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet has been very vocal, constantly scrutinizing their corresponding office holders and developing alternative policies for their respective portfolios.

For example, Shadow Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Nomsa Marchesi, recently had a lot to say about the 2017 Matric results. She criticised the results for not being a ‘true’ reflection of the state our education is in.

In his capacity as the leader of the DA, Mmusi Maimane also acts as the leader of the opposition shadow cabinet. With the departure of Shadow Minister of Health, Dr Wilmot James, the DA shadow cabinet underwent a shuffle of its own in June last year.

  • Patricia Kopane replaced Wilmot James as the Shadow Minister of Health.
  • Malcom Figg replaced Patricia Kopane as the Shadow Minister of Public Works.
  • Alan McLoughlin replaced Malcolm Figg as the Shadow Minister of Appropriations, with Brandon Topham as his deputy.
  • Ian Ollis replaced Gavin Davis as the Shadow Minister of Basic Education. Mr Davis is said to be focusing on policy development and communications ahead of the 2019 elections.
  • Michael Bagraim replaced Ian Ollis as Shadow Minister of Labour, with Derrick America as the Shadow Deputy Minister of Labour.
  • Dean Macpherson, who recently led a campaign for the capture of rock-throwers in KZN, replaced Geordin Hill-Lewis as the Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry. Mr Hill-Lewis is focusing full time on his work as Chief of Staff to the Federal Leader.
  • Ghaleb Cachalia assumed the position of Shadow Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry.
  • Mbulelo Bara replaced Tarnia Baker as the Shadow Deputy Minister of Human Settlements. Ms Baker is focusing on her work as Shadow Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation.
  • And finally, Choloane Matsepe replaced Mr Bara as Shadow Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

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Build The Perfect Cabinet

In a perfect South Africa, a cabinet will fight corruption and promote policies that will create both jobs and peace. They will grow the economy and fight for the best interests of all South Africans. They will be passionate and fit to hold the high office they occupy. A cabinet of our best people will be respectable and provide leadership.

South Africa is not only known for its political influence on the rest of the continent, but also for the influential people who have made their mark. People who have worked hard and created transformation – often outside of their central calling.

So, how do we go about building the perfect cabinet? In South Africa, at least while Zuma remains in office, this may never happen. Here’s hoping Ramaphosa will turn it all around.

Until then, we would like to ask our readers to put their heads together and come up with a dream cabinet of South Africans. Nunu Ntshingila as Minister of Communications? Sipho Nkosi in for the Energy portfolio? Pravin Gordhan where he should still be, as Minister of Finance. Or will his talents be of better use somewhere else? How about Patrice Motsepe in charge of our mining, or Sol Kerzner in for Tourism? Minister of Justice? It’s got to be Thuli Madonsela. Perhaps Evita Bezuidenhout as Minister of Arts and Culture?

Then, the biggest question of all – the Leader.

Leave a comment and let us know if you have any suggestions of your own!


Insurance Guru

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