South Africa’ security sector ministers – with the exception of deputy police minister Fikile Mbalula have survived a Cabinet reshuffle announced by President Jacob Zuma this evening. Mbalula was promoted to Minister of Sports and Recreation.
“We have taken a long and hard look at some of the departments with a view to strengthening some ministries,” Zuma says. “We have completed the process of the reconfiguration of government, and that of putting in place systems that will help us change the way government works in order to improve service delivery. During this period, we also had time to study the functioning of the current administration in order to ascertain what works and what needs to be changed or strengthened.”
The President, at a specially called media briefing this evening, announced the sacking of nine ministers, including Barbara Hogan of Public Enterprise, the department responsible for Denel, South African Airways and South African Express. Also sacked were former South African National Defence Force chief turned communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda, labour minister Membathisi Mdladlana, sports minister Makhenkesi Stofile, water and environment minister Buyelwa Sonjica, public works minister Geoff Doidge and women, youth, children and people with disabilities minister Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya.
Malusi Gigaba, the former deputy home affairs minister is the new Minister of Public Enterprise assisted by Benedict “Ben” Martins, up to now the chairman of the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs.
Makhotso Magdeline Sotyu, chairwoman of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs is the new deputy minister of police. Zuma also appointed Marius Fransman, chairman of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training deputy minister of International Relations and Cooperation.
The new public works minister is Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde and the new Deputy Minister for Correctional Services, a new position, is former Limpopo Premier Advocate Ngoako Ramathlodi. Elizabeth Thabethe is the new Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry and Fatima Chohan, chairwoman of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, replaces Gigaba at Home Affairs.
Cabinet reshuffles have been rare in post-Apartheid South Africa and have generally coincided with national elections. A notable exception was the break-up of the then-Government on what is the largest Cabinet reshuffle since at least June 1996 when the then-National Party walked out of a Government of National Unity headed by President Nelson Mandela.
“We extend our gratitude to the outgoing members of Cabinet for their contribution to government and the country. Some have served in government for many years and we trust that they will still put their expertise at the disposal of the country,” Zuma said. “Some of the outgoing members are to be deployed in other tasks in government.
“We congratulate the incoming members of Cabinet as well as the Deputy Ministers and wish them well in their new responsibilities. The new team will be sworn into office tomorrow at 2pm.”
The reshuffle included the following changes:
* Arts and Culture: Paul Mashatile replaces Lulu Xingwana
* Communications: Radhakrishna “Roy” Padayachie replaces Siphiwe Nyanda
* Labour: Mildred Oliphant replaces Membathisi Mdladlana
* Public Enterprises: Malusi Gigaba replaces Barbara Hogan
* Public Works: Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde replaces Geoff Doidge
* Social Development: Bathabile Dlamini replaces Edna Molewa
* Sports and Recreation: Fikile Mbalula replaces Makhenkesi Stofile
* Water and Environmental Affairs: Edna Molewa replaces Buyelwa Sonjica
* Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana replaces Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya