Tourism regulations

Tourism Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu. Image via Twitter

Lindiwe Sisulu hires another ‘controversial figure’ for water department

Lindiwe Sisulu’s list of dubious appointments seems to have grown this week, and the addition of a former minister to her team has upset the critics.

Tourism regulations

Tourism Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu. Image via Twitter

Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu does not believe in keeping a low profile. With her department currently under investigation for a R16bn irregular expenditure bill, questions have been asked about the company the ANC veteran keeps. And her latest hire – former SASSA Minister Susan Shabangu – has essentially kicked a hornet’s nest.

Who is Susan Shabangu?

Mo Shaik and Menzi Simelane both sat on her advisory team earlier this year, despite being accused of enabling and benefiting from state capture. Gugile Nkwinti secured himself a place an advisory committee chair, despite previously violating Parliament’s Ethics Code. Bathabile Dlamini also works for Lindiwe Sisulu, and it now seems that the new appointment – none other than Susan Shabangu – will ruffle more feathers.

Shabangu spent a brief time as SASSA Minister, following in Dlamini’s infamous footsteps. However, a court battle ensued between the department and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) over a botched deal to provide social grants to the most vulnerable people in South Africa.

Another controversial new hire for Lindiwe Sisulu

Unable to break the deadlock – or implement proper change at SASSA – Shabangu was soon replaced as minister by Lindiwe Zulu. She then went on to resign as an MP in 2019, missing out on a place in the sixth Parliament of South Africa. All in all, the DA are fuming that the ex-minister found her way onto the water board:

“Shabangu is the latest in a long list of incompetent and unqualified cadres appointed by Sisulu to fill lucrative positions in her technically bankrupt department. Shabangu’s track record in government speaks for itself and she resigned from Parliament last year after being denied a position on President Ramaphosa’s cabinet.”

“This latest appointment is indicative of Sisulu’s absolute disregard for the people of this nation, already languishing under the crushing weight of drought, disease and endemic ANC government incompetence.”

Emma Powell, deputy shadow minister for water and sanitation

DA vow to escalate the matter

The information was made public after Lindiwe Sisulu responded to a Parliamentary question posed by the DA. However, not merely satisfied with an answer to their query, the party has promised to follow-up with the Public Protector. Powell states that the Shabangu appointment will be added to a list already sent to Busisiwe Mkhwebane.