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Executive decision: Zuma's new cabinet

Emsie Ferreira

President Jacob Zuma has chosen his new executive, complete with promotions, demotions and sackings.

President Jacob Zuma has chosen his new executive, complete with promotions, demotions and sackings. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Zuma moved former police minister Nathi Mthethwa to the arts and culture portfolio in what could be seen as the demotion of a close ally in response to the 2012 killing of striking mineworkers at Marikana in the North West. The new police minister is Nkosinathi Nhleko – a former director general in the labour department

Zuma named Nhlanhla Nene as his new finance minister and moved former treasury chief Pravin Gordhan to the local government ministry in a Cabinet that retained 14 ministers in their old portfolios.

As expected Cyril Ramaphosa becomes the country’s new deputy president, and former justice minister Jeff Radebe moves to the Presidency to head the now combined planning and monitoring ministries. 

Michael Masutha becomes the minister of justice and correctional services, another new super ministry. 

Former mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu loses her portfolio to Ngoako Ramathlodi – the former deputy minister of correctional services – and will head the new ministry for women, which will be located in the Presidency.

In another shake-up in the security cluster, former intelligence minister Siyabonga Cwele has been moved to a new ministry of telecommunications and postal services – created to shape the fast-growing sector as well as the post office’s role in delivering financial services to remote areas, Zuma said.

David Mahlobo, a top official at the department of co-operative governance, becomes the new minister of state security.

The president also created a new ministry of small business development, in line he said, with his second term’s stated mission of focusing on growing the economy and creating jobs. That ministry will be led by Lindiwe Zulu – who has served as Zuma’s international affairs advisor. 

However, Zuma has retained Ebrahim Patel as minister of economic development and Rob Davies as minister of trade and industry. Similarly, he has kept Dipuo Peters at transport, Aaron Motsoaledi at health, Fikile Mbalula at sport, Blade Nzimande at higher education, Angie Motshekga at basic education, and Edna Molewa at environmental affairs. However, she will no longer handle water affairs, as that was given to a new ministry of water and sanitation to be headed by former Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane. 

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane remains minister of international relations and Thulas Nxesi retains the difficult portfolio of public works. 

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula continues as defence minister and Mildred Oliphant as labour minister. 

Gugile Nkwinti remains minister of land reform and rural development and Bathabile Dlamini remains minister of social development. 

Lindiwe Sisulu becomes minister of human settlements – a post she has held in the past. 

Zuma announced the creation of a new information ministry that will deal with all government communication and branding, and include the SA Broadcasting Corporation and the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa). It will be headed by Faith Muthambi, who has been an ordinary ANC MP. 

Former ANC Western Cape premier Lynne Browne becomes minister of public enterprises, in a return to political prominence. Malusi Gigaba, the previous incumbent, was moved to home affairs. There he replaces Naledi Pandor, who moves to science and technology, a post she has previously held. 

After a controversial stint as agriculture, forestry, and fisheries minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson becomes minister of energy. Senzeni Zokwana was named as new agriculture, forestry, and fisheries minister. 

Collins Chabane leaves the presidency to become the new minister of public service and administration, in what can be seen as a natural progression from his former role as oversight minister. Cabinet veteran Derek Hanekom becomes minister of tourism. 

Zuma added 37 deputy ministers to the executive and, in perhaps the biggest surprise, named former police commissioner Bheki Cele as deputy minister of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. 

Andries Nel remains deputy minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, while Zoe Kota-Hendricks becomes deputy minister of human settlements. 

Fatima Chohan remains deputy minister of home affairs and John Jeffery retains his post of deputy justice minister. 

Enver Surty held on to the post of deputy minister of basic education. 

Zuma said his new Cabinet had been given the task of stepping up delivery and overseeing a “radical phase of socio-economic transformation”. 

“The team will implement the five-year medium-term strategic framework of government which has been developed using the National Development Plan and the ANC manifesto,” he said. – Sapa

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