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Cabinet: A fine balancing act

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

In a first for South Africa the cabinet has a 50-50 gender parity representation.

Not only that but the Cabinet announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday night comprises 28 ministries, a reduction from 36 departments.

The Cabinet comprises of 14 women as members. The executive also has 16 women Deputy Ministers. Announcing the reduced executive President Ramaphosa said he had made sure the Cabinet represents the demographics of the country.

“These men and women we have appointed to the executive are drawn from all corners of our country. For the first time in the history of our country, half of all Ministers are women. We have also included a significant number of young people. This is in fulfilment of our commitment to giving young people roles of responsibility in all sectors of society,” he said.

Speaking from the Union Buildings in Pretoria the President said his choices were centred on building capacity of future leaders.

The reconfigured Cabinet includes several new faces such as Barbara Creecy, deputised by Maggie Sotyu, as the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries; Ronald Lamola who is now the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services will have John Jeffery and Inkosi Phathekile Holomisa as deputies while the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure is to be headed by Patricia De Lille, who is the only opposition party member in Cabinet, with former Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet being De Lille’s Deputy Minister.

The sixth administration will also see the return of some members from the previous term. President Ramaphosa said: “In appointing a new national executive, I have taken a number of considerations into account, including experience, continuity, competence, generational mix and demographic and regional diversity.”

The duo of Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and Pinky Kekana will continue to head the Department of Communications as Minister and Deputy Minister respectively. Another Minister to be retained from the fifth administration is Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. 

Dlamini-Zuma’s deputies Parks Tau and Obed Bapela will assume responsibility for the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs department.

Health Minister in the previous term being Aaron Motsoaledi will be seconded by Njabulo Nzuza as they take over the Department of Home Affairs.

President Ramaphosa said the new executive would sign performance agreements that they would be held to.

“The people who I am appointing today must realise that the expectations of the South African people have never been greater and that they will shoulder a great responsibility. Their performance – individually and collectively – will be closely monitored against specific outcomes. Where implementation is unsatisfactory, action will be taken,” the President said.

Thoko Didiza, Fikile Mbalula and Hlengiwe Mkhize return to the executive in different roles.

Didiza returns to familiar territory as the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.

The Minister will be deputised by former trade unionist Sdumo Dlamini and Mcebisi Skwatsha.

Meanwhile Mbalula is set to head the Department of Transport where Dikeledi Magadzi will be his deputy.

Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize, a former Minister of Higher Education and Training, returns as the Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.

“Allow me to express my gratitude to all the Members of the incoming Executive for making themselves available to serve the nation, and I wish them all the best in the execution of their responsibilities.

“We have all been called upon to serve the people of this country, and we will do so to the utmost of our ability,” President Ramaphosa said as he wished the new executive well.

New Ministers and Deputy Ministers are expected to be sworn on Thursday.

Here is the full list of the new Cabinet:

  • The Deputy President is David Mabuza.
  • The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development is Thoko Didiza.
  • The Deputy Ministers are Sdumo Dlamini and Mcebisi Skwatsha.
  • The Minister of Basic Education is Angie Motshekga.
  • The Deputy Minister is Dr Regina Mhaule.
  • The Minister of Communications is Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
  • The Deputy Minister is Pinky Kekana.
  • The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs is Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
  • The Deputy Ministers are Parks Tau and Obed Bapela.
  • The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans is Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
  • The Deputy Minister is Thabang Makwetla.
  • The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries is Barbara Creecy.
  • The Deputy Minister is Maggie Sotyu.
  • The Minister of Employment and Labour is Thulas Nxesi.
  • The Deputy Minister is Boitumelo Moloi.
  • The Minister of Finance is Tito Mboweni.            
  • The Deputy Minister is Dr David Masondo.
  • The Minister of Health is Dr Zwelini Mkhize.
  • The Deputy Minister is Dr Joe Phaahla.
  • The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology is Dr Blade Nzimande.
  • The Deputy Minister is Buti Manamela.
  • The Minister of Home Affairs is Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.
  • The Deputy Minister is Njabulo Nzuza.
  • The Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation is Lindiwe Sisulu.
  • The Deputy Ministers are Pam Tshwete and David Mahlobo.
  • The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation is Dr Naledi Pandor.
  • The Deputy Ministers are Alvin Botes and Candith Mashego-Dlamini.
  • The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services is Ronald Lamola.
  • The Deputy Ministers are John Jeffery and Inkosi Phathekile Holomisa.
  • The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy is Gwede Mantashe.
  • The Deputy Minister is Bavelile Hlongwa.
  • The Minister of Police is General Bheki Cele.
  • The Deputy Minister is Cassel Mathale.
  • The Minister in the Presidency is Jackson Mthembu.
  • The Deputy Minister in the Presidency is Thembi Siweya.
  • The Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities is Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
  • The Deputy Minister is Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize.
  • The Minister of Public Enterprises is Pravin Gordhan.
  • The Deputy Minister is Phumulo Masualle.
  • The Minister of Public Service and Administration is Senzo Mchunu.
  • The Deputy Minister is Sindy Chikunga.
  • The Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure is Patricia De Lille.
  • The Deputy Minister is Noxolo Kiviet.
  • The Minister of Small Business Development is Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.
  • The Deputy Minister is Rosemary Capa.
  • The Minister of Social Development is Lindiwe Zulu.
  • The Deputy Minister is Henrietta Bogopane-Zulu.
  • The Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture is Nathi Mthethwa.
  • The Deputy Minister is Nocawe Mafu.
  • The Minister of State Security is Ayanda Dlodlo.
  • The Deputy Minister is Zizi Kodwa.
  • The Minister of Tourism is Nkhensani Kubayi-Ngubane.
  • The Deputy Minister is Fish Mahlalela.
  • The Minister of Trade and Industry is Ebrahim Patel.
  • The Deputy Ministers are Fikile Majola and Nomalungelo Gina.
  • The Minister of Transport is Fikile Mbalula.
  • The Deputy Minister is Dikeledi Magadzi.