AN uncomfortable-looking President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night appointed ANC deputy president David Mabuza as the country’s new deputy president.
The move cemented the Mpumalanga premier’s place as a rising star in the ruling party two months after he engineered the outcome of the 54th ANC national conference in December.
Ramaphosa further announced the return of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister to replace Malusi Gigaba who was moved back to Home Affairs.
He also named former ANC Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize as Minister for Corporative Governance and Cooperation (Coghta) pending his swearing in as an MP on Tuesday.
Mkhize’s position and those of other newly appointed ministers would be effective once the parliamentary and legal formalities are completed.
“Pending the completion of their swearing-in as Members of the National Assembly, I intend to further appoint Mr David Mabuza as the Deputy President of the Republic, Dr Zweli Mkhize as Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Nhlanhla Nene as Minister of Finance and Ms Reginah Mhaule as Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation,” said Ramaphosa.
“The new Ministers and Deputy Ministers will be sworn in in Cape Town tomorrow.”
ANC Chairperson Gwede Mantashe made his debut as a Cabinet minister, after running the ANC for 10 years as secretary general.
Ramaphosa, who appeared sad and subdued, made the announcement an hour and a half later than expected.
He apologised for the delay. Sources later said the delay was caused by a behind-the-scene battle with ANC Top Six officials and some party elders over the composition of the executive, especially Mabuza’s elevation.
The president then proceeded to wield his axe and deal with ministers that were seen to be close to his predecessor, former President Jacob Zuma and those who were fingered in allegations of State Capture.
They include former Energy Minister David Mahlobo, former Coghta Minister Des Van Rooyen and former Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane.
In what appears to be an attempt to unite the warring factions in the ANC, and rally his troops ahead of next year’s general elections, Ramaphosa also threw a curveball when he retained Gigaba and ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) president Bathabile Dlamini in his cabinet.
Dlamini was moved to the Women Ministry in the Presidency after her turbulent tenure as Social Development Minister.
Ramaphosa, however, downplayed speculations and accusations that he was on a witch-hunt to get rid of Zuma allies by saying he gave the reshuffle a serious thought and made the changes with the intentions of making government work better.
He said he tried to strike a balance while ensuring continuity.
“These changes are intended to ensure that national government is better equipped to implement the mandate of this administration and specifically the tasks identified in the State of the Nation Address. In making these changes, I have been conscious of the need to balance continuity and stability with the need for renewal, economic recovery and accelerated transformation,” he said.
Ramaphosa reiterated that as indicated in his State of the Nation Address, they have begun a review of the configuration, size and number of national Ministries and Departments. He announced that they would not be cutting the departments just yet.
“We will retain the existing Ministries and Departments until that review is completed,” he said.
– Communications: Ms Nomvula Mokonyane
– Energy: Mr Jeff Radebe
– Higher Education and Training: Ms Naledi Pandor
– Home Affairs: Mr Malusi Gigaba
– Human Settlements: Ms Nomaindia Mfeketo
– International Relations and Cooperation: Ms Lindiwe Sisulu
– Mineral Resources: Mr Gwede Mantashe
– Police: Mr Bheki Cele
– Public Enterprises: Mr Pravin Gordhan
– Public Service and Administration: Ms Ayanda Dlodlo
– Public Works: Mr Thulas Nxesi
– Rural Development and Land Reform: Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane
– Science and Technology: Ms Nkhensani Kubayi-Ngubane
– Social Development: Ms Susan Shabangu
– Sport and Recreation: Ms Tokozile Xasa
– State Security: Ms Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba
– The Presidency: Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation: Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
– The Presidency: Women: Ms Bathabile Dlamini
– Tourism: Mr Derek Hanekom
– Transport: Dr Blade Nzimande
– Water and Sanitation: Mr Gugile Nkwinti
– Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: Mr Sfiso Buthelezi
– Communications: Ms Pinky Kekana
– Finance: Mr Mondli Gungubele
– Public Service and Administration: Dr Chana Pilane-Majeke
– Small Business Development: Mr Cassel Mathale
Ramaphosa added that the positions of Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises and Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation will remain vacant.
-Des van Rooyen