The African National Congress (ANC) has reportedly redeployed ANC MP Makhosi Khoza from Parliament finance committee to the public service and administration portfolio committee.
Khoza rose to fame for her brilliant performance as a member of the ad hoc committee that conducted the inquiry into the fitness of the SABC board.
She earned her doctorate in administration, in addition to a master’s degree in social science and is a fellow at the Aspen Global Leadership Institute. The MP is currently studying towards a master’s degree in finance at the University of London.
The move is widely seen as a way to clear Brian Molefe’s path to the National Treasury. Speculation is that steps are being taken for Molefe to take over as finance minister from Pravin Gordhan, or at least become his deputy.
Gordhan has been at cold war with President Zuma and some structures of the ANC. In Cabinet and within the Treasury, Nomvula Mokonyane -minister of water and sanitation – and Bathabile Dlamini – minister of social development – have both criticised the minister.
The ANCYL recently called for his redeployment and a total overhaul at the Treasury. But the minister is apparently much calmer, more focused and at ease compared to last year, regardless of the political pressure and the dwindling economy.
The ANC Women’s League and Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) have been at the forefront of calls for Gordhan to be removed from his position. They claim the minister is blocking the ruling party’s drive for “radical socioeconomic transformation
Last week Friday, Parliament acknowledged Molefe’s deployment to the house as North West MP. But the news was received with mixed reactions, especially from Ward 29 in the Madibeng Local Municipality, where Molefe allegedly belonged.
The branch had insisted that he is not a member of the branch but the ANC refuted the claims, stating that Molefe is a card carrying member in Hartbeespoort since 2011.
Parliament also announced that the former Eskom boss will be sworn in on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Gordhan will deliver his much-anticipated Budget Speech on Wednesday, as he has done six times previously.
Ahead of the speech, the minister said in an interview that he is “not indispensable” – amid widespread speculation that his job and that of his deputy may be on the line through a cabinet reshuffle.
He responded to the rumours by simply saying: “We are just humble civil servants.”
Weighing in, deputy minister Jonas expressed readiness for “any eventuality”. He reiterated that they serve at the pleasure of the president and that their future lies in his hands.
“Treasury is an institution and ministers come and go …We hope that the capacity embedded within the institution will be sustained,” he said.
The deputy minister was the first to open the lid on the influence of the Gupta family in the government. He alleged that the controversial family bribed him and offered him the finance minister post in December 2015.