Artthrob | Matthew Blackman:
Several news agencies are reporting that the Department of Sports and Recreation and the Department of Arts and Culture are likely to merge into one super-department in Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle, now that the elections are over. It is still unclear though as to who will be selected by Zuma as its minister.
Fikile Mbalula: possible Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture. (Photo: GCIS)
Before the elections some doubt clouded the futures of both the Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula, and the Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile. But it is now widely considered that Mbalula’s carrier may have been saved by his popularity in the branches of the ANC. However, Mr Mashatile, as ANC provincial chairman of Gauteng, may still be under pressure considering the ANC’s fall in the province from 63% to 54% of the vote. This is despite the fact that eNCA are reporting that Mashatile remains unconcerned about the ANC’s decline in popularity saying that it is still enough to govern the province effectively.
Although this remains speculation, one analyst believes both men are in with a chance to retain positions in cabinet. This is despite the fact that Mashatile backed Kgalema Motlanthe during the Mangaung succession battle and as political analyst, Somadoda Fikeni, stated recently: ‘There are issues of loyalty and seniority in the ANC that will determine how the president makes up his mind.’ The question remains, however, will the merger of the departments in anyway benefit arts and culture?
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