New and lesser-known faces in Ramaphosa’s Cabinet

President Cyril Ramaphosa at the inauguration of Cabinet ministers in Pretoria on Thursday. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

President Cyril Ramaphosa at the inauguration of Cabinet ministers in Pretoria on Thursday. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet has brought some lesser known politicians to the fore to take up critical positions in portfolios like trade and industry, finance, education and labour.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the new and not so familiar faces.

Nomalungelo Gina, the new deputy minister of trade and industry, previously served as chair of Parliament’s basic education portfolio committee after being elected to the fifth parliament on the KwaZulu-Natal list for the National Assembly.  Gina is the wife of the late trade unionist and ANC leader Cedric Gina and is deployed to the party’s Melmoth constituency in Zululand.

Fikile Majola, the second trade and industry deputy minister, is a former general secretary of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) who was elected to parliament on an ANC ticket in 2009.
A former treasurer of the United Democratic Front (UDF) Southern Transvaal region, Majola served on parliament’s energy portfolio committee.

Noxolo Kieviet, the new deputy minister of public works,  served as speaker of the Eastern Cape provincial legislature from 2004 to 2009. She was premier of the Eastern Cape from 2009 to 2014, being rated as the worst performing premier in the country by the Public Service Commission in 2012.

Mcebisi Skwatsha is the returning deputy minister of rural development and land reform. He has served as both the Western Cape ANC’s provincial chairperson and secretary. Before being elected to the National Assembly, he was a member of the Western Cape provincial legislature where he served as MEC for transport and public works.

Dr Regina Mhaule is the deputy minister of basic education. She moves from her previous portfolio as deputy minister of international relations and cooperation. The former mayor of Mbombela in Mpumalanga, Mhaule also served in the provincial government of former Mpumalanga Premier, now Deputy President David Mabuza.

Obed Bapela returns as deputy minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs. As an ANC member of the National Assembly, Bapela sat in the portfolio committee on foreign affairs and Trade and Industry, before becoming deputy minister.

Boitumelo Moloi is the deputy minister of employment and labour. She is a relatively new face to the ANC in the National Assembly. She has previously served as Mayor of the Kenneth Kaunda Municipality in the North West Province.

David Masondo is the country’s new deputy finance minister. A former member of the Limpopo provincial legislature until 2014, Masondo has been keeping himself busy at ANC headquarters at Luthuli House. He was elected to the party’s National Executive committee in 2017, and ahead of the 2019 General Elections appeared relatively high on the ANC’s National candidates list at 19th place. He’s considered a rising star in the ANC.

Pam Tshwete has been an ANC MP since 2002 and a caucus whip since 2004. She has held several leadership positions in Parliament including chairperson of the Arts and Culture committee, and Chairperson of the ad hoc committee on the filling of vacancies on the commission for gender equity. She served as deputy minister for water and sanitation between 2014 and 2019

Alvin Botes is one of two deputy ministers in the department of international relations and cooperation. From the Northern Cape, he is a former ANC provincial secretary in the province. He has previously been his province’s MEC for social development.

Candith Mashego-Dlamini is the second deputy minister in the department of international relations and cooperation. She is a former Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land. Hailing from Mpumalanga, Mashego-Dlamini has served as that province’s MEC for Health; Welfare and Gender Affairs; Agriculture, Conservation and Environment; and Department of Public Works.

Phumulo Masualle,  the new deputy minister of public enterprises, replaced Noxolo Kieviet as Eastern Cape Premier in 2014 after serving as MEC in a variety of portfolios, ranging from public works to health and later economic development. An engineer, Masualle lost the ANC chair in the province to current chair and premier Oscar Mabuyane at the province’s infamous 2017 ANC conference.

Inkosi Phatekile Holomisa, the deputy minister of justice and correctional services, has been an ANC MP since 1994. An advocate by profession, the former president of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa), served on parliament’s justice and cooperative governance portfolio committees. He was appointed as deputy minister of labour in 2014.

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