Hogan eyes change in SA healthcare system

There is a need for a change in South Africa’s healthcare system, newly appointed Health Minister Barbara Hogan said on Friday.

“Expect to see real change. We need to see our health system back on track,” Hogan told journalists following a Cabinet swearing-in ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Hogan said she felt honoured by being appointed to President Kgalema Motlanthe’s Cabinet on Thursday.

Hogan, who joined the African National Congress in 1976 and is also the wife of Rivonia trialist Ahmed Kathrada, said she felt “energetic” about her new post while also admitting that there were challenges in the system.

Hogan took over from the controversial Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, who is now minister in the presidency.

Asked if she had any advice for Hogan, Tshabalala-Msimang said: “I can’t give her advice through you, I have to talk to her.”

Tshabalala-Msimang and other ministers, such as Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, were not sworn in.
Government spokesperson Themba Maseko said they did not have to be sworn in as they had been sworn in previously.

“Serving ministers don’t have to be here; some have resigned, that is why they are here,” said Maseko.

Former speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete was sworn in as deputy president. Mbete, who arrived at the same time as Motlanthe, was sworn in shortly after 4.30pm by Chief Justice Pius Langa.

A smiling Trevor Manuel was also sworn in as finance minister after being re-appointed to the position.

Safety and Security Minister Nathi Mthethwa said he still needed to familiarise himself with his new portfolio. “... High on the agenda is to stamp out crime. We need to stamp out crime,” he said.

On the question of the disbanding of the Scorpions, he said: “I wouldn’t want to discuss the Scorpions.”

Also sworn in were Science and Technology Minister Mosibudi Mangena, as well as Correctional Services Minister Ngconde Balfour.—Sapa

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