Remarks by Spokesperson on President’s schedule and health
As the Presidency, we wish to address the public discussion, including media coverage, of President Ramaphosa’s schedule and health during the course of this past week.
But we would like to start this session by saying the President is deeply saddened by the passing of Free State MEC for Education, Mr Tate Makgoe and a member of his security detail in a vehicle accident near Winburg in the Free State early today.
The President’s thoughts are with the families, friends and colleagues of the MEC and his protector and we wish the surviving driver a speedy and full recovery.
The President also expresses his condolences to the families of the 19 people who died in incidents on roads in Limpopo on Friday the 3rd of March.
We must all do what we can and need to, to stay safe on our roads.
I would now like to turn to the matter at hand.
At issue is the public discussion around the President’s schedule this past week and the President’s appearance at a Ntaba Nyoni Cattle Stud event on Friday evening, 3 February 2023.
Let me once again emphasise that the President is fully seized with and committed to his oath of office and the day-to-day tasks of leading the nation out of the difficulties we face.
In the State of the Nation Address on 9 February, the President said, “The people of South Africa want action, they want solutions and they want government to work for them.”
This is exactly the President’s attitude as he goes about his work day and night.
This context is important as we look back over the past few days.
Throughout this week, the President has attended to his duties while treating a common cold.
You may recall the President’s discomfort was visible during his public appearances as part of the State Visit by His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni of the Republic of Uganda.
Among the tasks the President undertook this week was continued consultation around forthcoming changes to the National Executive.
But contrary to media coverage and speculation on social platforms, there was no plan for the President to announce changes to Cabinet on Thursday, the 2nd of March.
As a result, there was no postponement or cancellation of such an announcement.
On Friday the 3rd of March, President Ramaphosa honoured an engagement of the Ntaba Nyoni Cattle Stud.
This was a dinner preceding an annual auction. The dates for these events were scheduled a number of months ago.
In view of his discomfort, the President made a brief stop at Friday’s dinner – to greet guests. President Ramaphosa did not attend the auction itself the following day as his cold persisted and required that he should rest.
The accusations and misinformation we have seen around this matter are therefore completely unjustified.
While he is still nursing his common cold, the President is finalising his reconfiguration of the National Executive. Furthermore, there have been parliamentary processes such as the swearing in of certain members of Parliament that the president needed to take account of whilst he is finalising the formation of the executive.
The President appreciates the importance of putting in place a National Executive that will build on the commitments government has made for faster growth through our investment drive, economic reforms, public employment programmes and an expanding infrastructure programme.
Having exercised his constitutional prerogative, the President will announce the new National Executive at 7pm tomorrow, Monday, 6 March 2023.
This will reinforce government’s focus – as the President said in SONA – on those actions that will make a meaningful difference now, that will enable real progress within the next year and that will lay a foundation for a sustained recovery into the future.
I thank you.
Source: Government of South Africa