New Defence Portfolio Committee chair


Cyril Xaba is the new chair of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence taking over from Malusi Motimele, now Armscor deputy chair.

For the 52-year-old, this year is his first exposure to the national legislature having previously been in various posts in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature.

In addition to his duties as chair of the portfolio committee, Xaba also sits on Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence.

From 2009 until his nomination as a Member of Parliament following the May national and provincial elections, Xaba was as member of the KZN provincial legislature serving, among others, as MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development; chair of the KZN provincial planning commission and as special advisor to KZN premiers Zweli Mkhize and Senzo Mchunu between 2009 and 2014.

Prior to that he was a member of the KZN provincial legislature for 15 years. During this time he was responsible for education, public works, finance, economic development and also served as chief whip as well as chair of an ad-hoc Constitutional Affairs committee in the province.

Xaba also served as a member of the provincial parliamentary committees tasked with oversight on education, local government and traditional affairs, public accounts and the premier’s and royal households.

According to his CV his provincial duties have seen him undertake study tours to 17 countries in addition to government business taking him to Angola, Morocco and Zambia.

Portfolio Committee members are Alexandra Beukes (ANC), Bantu Holomisa (UDM), Tidimalo Legwase (ANC), Jerome Maake  (ANC), Kobus Marais (DA), Nthako Matiase (EFF), Thabo Mmutle  (ANC), Moleboheng Modise (ANC), Mzwanele Nyhontso (PAC) and Malitakhe Shelembe (DA) with three alternate members (Russel Cebekhulu of the IFP, Dorries Dlakude of the ANC and the DA’s Thomas Walters).