New faces in Cabinet JCPS cluster

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More clarity regarding the workings of the seventh democratic South Africa Cabinet, sworn into office last week, can be expected post this week’s two-day lekgotla with its JCPS (Justice, Crime Prevention and Security) cluster having a new line-up.

Gone are ministers Thandi Modise (Defence and Military Veterans), Bheki Cele (Police), Home Affairs (Aaron Motsoaledi, back to Health) and Ronald Lamola (Justice and Correctional Services to International Relations and Co-operation).

In comes Angie Motshekga (Defence and Military Veterans) with two deputies to call on, while Senzo Mchunu exits water and sanitation to take on the police portfolio, also with a pair of deputies. Thandi Nkadimeng is now Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development with Correctional Services a stand-alone department and ministry under the leadership of Pieter Groenewald. The final new face in the JCPS cluster is that of Leon Schreiber at Home Affairs.

Party-wise the cluster has ANC (African National Congress), DA (Democratic Alliance) and FF+ (Freedom Front Plus) representation in line with the expanded multi-party Cabinet named by President Cyril Ramaphosa a month after the country went to the polls.

There is, as yet, no indication of whether the JCPS cluster will expand to include the now separate correctional services and justice portfolios.

Ahead of the opening of Parliament, by way of joint sitting of the National Assembly (NA) and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Thursday, 18 July (Mandela Day), 30 portfolio and five other committees were named. Included is the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) while none of the others, including standing committees, are named by Parliament.

One is the Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD), established as per the South African Constitution. Its mandate reads: “to investigate and make recommendations on the budget, functioning, organisation, armaments, policy, morale and state of preparedness of the National Defence Force and to perform such other functions relating to parliamentary supervision of the Force as may be prescribed by law”. Its members are drawn from the NA and NCOP and is, in similar vein to the PCDMV, a mechanism for multi-party supervision” of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) in its entirety.

The JSCD along with the joint standing committees on Financial Management of Parliament and Intelligence are the only three which are drawn from NA and NCOP public representatives.

NCOP public representatives make up the Select Committee on Security and Justice which covers five government departments. They are defence and military veterans, home affairs, justice and correctional services (split in the seventh democratic administration), International Relations and Co-operation and Police.