The African National Congress will ensure there will not be any “anxiety” about the appointment of a new deputy president, after former incumbent Cyril Ramaphosa was elected president of the republic on February 15, ANC secretary general Ace Magashule said on Sunday.

“On the issue of cabinet [appointments], it is always a prerogative of the president in or after consultation with the national officials. Tomorrow [Monday] we have a simple, normal officials meeting,” Magashule told journalists in Pretoria at the conclusion of a special ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting.

“If this matter arises, we will then discuss it there. We are going to move with speed to ensure that the issue of cabinet, the issue of [the deputy president]… there is no anxiety about it. We don’t have an agenda for tomorrow [Monday], it’s a normal officials’ meeting, [but] if it comes, it will be part of our discussions and yes we will discuss it,“ he said.

Magashule said Ramaphosa had told NEC members to “honour their deployments”.

“The president of the ANC, comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, delivered political remarks to the meeting which strongly emphasised the need for ANC leaders and members to honour the deployments entrusted to them by the organisation and the need for consequence management where comrades fail to do so,” said Magashule.

“The president’s political remarks further reflected on the budget delivered by the Minister of Finance comrade Malusi Gigaba in Parliament, specifically taking note of the constrained fiscal space South Africa finds itself in and the need for difficult decisions, including the proposed increase on value-added tax (VAT) to support government meet pressing social challenges.”

Magashule said the NEC believed that government should consider a further range of measures to alleviate any negative consequences on the poor that may be occasioned by the VAT increase, including additions to the list of zero-rated and tax-exempt items.

“The NEC committed to continue engagement with all social partners on this and other matters arising from the state-of-the-nation address and the budget,” he said.