Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Hold onto your saddlebags

The resignation of 11 ministers and 3 deputies today, including the top two at the National Treasury, follows the resignation of their boss, Thabo Mbeki, two days ago. They say that they will formally vacate their posts on Thursday, when Thabo formally vacates his. Apparently this is no more than protocol - when the President resigns his cabinet is 'duty-bound' to tender their resignations too. The incoming President then has the right to refuse those resignations. So only those resignations that are accepted would actually come into force. The head of SARS wrote a memo to his staff telling them this was the case with Trevor (it's on the Business Day website).

Fine. But then why have only 11 ministers tendered their resignations? Surely, if it is just protocol, the whole cabinet should do so at the same time?

All 11 have said they will be available to help with a smooth transition to the new administration, and serve in it if asked to do so. Methinks Kgalema will ask them to do so. But if he doesn't the ANC needs to find replacements. There's no way in hell the ANC has candidates ready to go in each position, least of all minister and deputy minister of Finance.

The announcement came at around 12.30pm today. Check what happened to the JSE (top) and the rand-dollar exchange rate (bottom) right afterwards...!

Ya ok the JSE tracked back once people heard they would be available to work under the new President. But that whole 'it's just procedural' argument isn't 100% clear to me. And if it isn't quite true, the JSE might be ignoring what a half-empty cabinet under a new acting president really means for the next six or seven months.

Thanks be to Allah that the rest of the world has worse stuff to worry about right now than our political shenanigans. Let's hope it remains as such until we sort it all out.

1 comment:

Greg said...

How can i be worried about the world economy when i am going to Japan? yes, you read that right JAPAN. On the companies dollah!

Irashaimase! Domo aregato Mr Roboto! Whale sushi for me waiter-san!

Fuck, i'm exploding with excitement.