I am proud today to announce the appointment of a Shadow Cabinet which I believe will help restore Parliament to its rightful place at the centre of our democracy. This is an entirely new Shadow Cabinet designed to help the Democratic Alliance (DA) achieve its objectives in Parliament.
We believe that Parliament should be a forum for robust policy debate in which participants are at the cutting edge of developments in their portfolios.
We also believe that Parliament should be feared by government ministers who abuse their power. It must be a place where the executive is held to account, not a chamber characterised by “obsequious conformity”, as Archbishop Tutu once observed.
Lastly, it is important to us that every South African feels that they have a stake in Parliament. After all, it is the people’s Parliament. It must never feel like an elitist institution, out of touch with the real world.
With these considerations in mind, I have appointed a new Shadow Cabinet which I believe will become a force for change, not just in Parliament, but in South Africa as a whole.
Putting together this Shadow Cabinet was the result of a far-reaching and thorough process of consultation. Nevertheless, decisions like this are never easy. They are particularly difficult when you are blessed with the wealth of talent, expertise and experience that we have in the Democratic Alliance.
The starting point was to ensure that the new Shadow Cabinet was suitably diverse. This is important because the positions we take in Parliament need to be informed by a wide range of perspectives.
I also wanted to ensure that there was an appropriate “generational mix”. If there is one thing I have learned it is that the experience of veterans, mixed with the energy of youth, makes a formidable combination.
Most importantly, I wanted to ensure that each and every member of the Shadow Cabinet is fit for purpose. Some Shadow Ministers are experts in policy and legislation; others have first-rate communication abilities; many are brilliant activists and community organisers. So I have tried, as far as possible, to give each Shadow Minister the best platform upon which to showcase their particular talents.
As this is a Shadow Cabinet in the true sense of the term, it neatly mirrors the existing Cabinet Clusters.
Our Shadow Economics Cluster will work to ensure that policies and legislation enacted by Parliament are a help and not a hindrance to economic growth and job creation. It will be their responsibility to speak on behalf of the millions of South Africans who lack access to work opportunities, and to advance the DA's vision for a growing and prosperous South Africa. We will push our policy objective of achieving 8% growth at every opportunity.
The Shadow Ministers in the Economics Cluster are:
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – Annette Steyn
Appropriations – Marius Swart
Communications – Marian Shinn
Economic Development – Haniff Hoosen
Energy – Lance Greyling
Finance – Tim Harris
Labour – Sej Motau
Mineral Resources – James Lorimer
Public Enterprises – Natasha Michael
Public Works – Anchen Dreyer
Rural Development & Land Reform – Athol Trollip
Science & Technology – Dr Junita Kloppers-Lourens
Tourism – Stuart Farrow
Trade & Industry – Dr Wilmot James
Transport – Ian Ollis
Water & Environmental Affairs – Gareth Morgan
The Shadow Governance Cluster comprises a team of men and women who are passionate about ensuring that the machinery of government is clean and that it works to improve the lives of our people. Our governance Shadow Ministers will work hard to promote effective service delivery, and expose corruption wherever it manifests, because corruption is the enemy of growth and prosperity.
The Shadow Ministers in the Governance Cluster are:
Co-operative Governance & Traditional Affairs – John Steenhuisen
Public Service & Administration – Kobus Marais
Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) – Dr Dion George
Women, Children & People with Disabilities – Helen Lamoela
The role of the Shadow Peace and Security Cluster is to advance policies and legislation to help build a criminal justice system in which all are equal before the law; criminals fear being caught, prosecuted and punished; and South Africans feel safe in their homes and on our streets. Our Peace and Security Shadow Minster must also oversee the independent institutions of the state, to ensure that they protect the citizens of South Africa, and not the governing party.
The Shadow Ministers in the Peace & Security Cluster are:
Correctional Services – James Selfe
Defence and Military Veterans – David Maynier
Home Affairs – Manny De Freitas
International Relations & Co-operation – Ian Davidson
Justice and Constitutional Development – Dene Smuts
Police – Dianne Kohler Barnard
State Security – Lennit Max
The Shadow Social Services Cluster will push for policies and legislation that will lift people out of poverty instead of keeping them trapped in it. It comprises individuals who care deeply about maximising the potential inherent in every citizen of our country. They will work to improve the education, healthcare and living conditions of the poorest and most marginalised of our citizens.
The Shadow Ministers in the Social Services Cluster are:
Arts & Culture – Niekie van den Berg
Basic Education – Annette Lovemore
Health – Patricia Kopane
Higher Education & Training – Dr Annelie Lotriet
Human Settlements – Stevens Mokgalapa
Social Development – Mike Waters
Sports & Recreation – Winston Rabotapi
Lastly, the Shadow Minister responsible for both the Presidency: Performance Monitoring & Evaluation, and the Presidency: National Planning Commission will be Joe McGluwa.
I said earlier that one of our objectives is to ensure that South Africans feel they are truly represented in Parliament; that it is a forum where community issues can be addressed by national decision-makers.
The DA has always believed in a proportional electoral system that includes a form of direct constituency representation. We may not be able to change the electoral system right now, but over the coming weeks, we plan to introduce a form of constituency representation that will strengthen the link between MPs and their constituents.
Finally, this Shadow Cabinet gives effect to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Independent Democrats (ID) and the Democratic Alliance, which was promulgated in August 2010. Our two parties have not merged but we are already one caucus, and our efforts to win more voters in 2014 will benefit from having the skills and expertise of our ID colleagues in the Shadow Cabinet.