President Cyril Ramaphosa announced sweeping changes to his new cabinet on Monday, shaking up the flawed cabinet that he inherited from former president Jacob Zuma.
The most notable changes to Ramaphosa’s cabinet are the return of Nhlanhla Nene as Finance Minister and the appointment of David Mabuza as the deputy president of the country.
Both are expected to be sworn-in as new MPs on Tuesday.
Speculation has been rife that after Ramaphosa was sworn in as president on February 15, ministers who have performed poorly or have been linked to corruption and state capture would be fired.
Ramaphosa’s hand-picked Cabinet is expected to help him on his “new dawn” plan that seeks to root out rampant corruption and patronage, grow the economy, reduce inequality and create jobs and trim SA’s bloated cabinet.
Nene has replaced Malusi Gigaba, who was widely viewed as another state capture enabler, allegedly placing Gupta-allies in key board positions at state-owned enterprises. Although Gigaba has been moved out of the National Treasury, he remains in the Cabinet as minister of home affairs.
Former president Jacob Zuma abruptly fired Nene in 2015 saying his name had been put forward to head the African Regional Centre of the Brics, which never materialised.
Nene’s sacking at the time rocked markets with the rand weakening to more than R14 against the US dollar and bond yields spiked to 9% as Zuma replaced him with little-known backbencher Des van Rooyen. To calm market jitters, respected Pravin Gordhan was appointed to replace Van Rooyen.
Nene is widely respected by the business and international investment community for being fiscally conservative, cutting government wasteful expenditure and drawing a hard line on bailouts for state-owned entities.
Ramaphosa chose former Mpumalanga premier and current ANC deputy president David Mabuza as his deputy. Mabuza was elected ANC deputy president at the ANC’s national elective conference in December 2017.
Ramaphosa’s announcement of the new cabinet has been expected since he was sworn in as the country’s president following Zuma’s resignation after he was recalled by the ANC. Ministers that faced the chop (or were shuffled into other portfolios) include Mosebenzi Zwane (Mineral Resources), Bathabile Dlamini (Social Development), Lynne Brown (Public Enterprises), Malusi Gigaba (Finance), Des van Rooyen (Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs) and Faith Muthambi (Public Service and Administration).
The following changes have been made:
1. Communications: Ms Nomvula Mokonyane
2. Finance: Mr Nhlanhla Nene
3. Energy: Mr Jeff Radebe
4. Higher Education and Training: Ms Naledi Pandor
5. Home Affairs: Mr Malusi Gigaba
6. Human Settlements: Ms Nomaindia Mfeketo
7. International Relations and Cooperation: Ms Lindiwe Sisulu
8. Mineral Resources: Mr Gwede Mantashe
9. Police: Mr Bheki Cele
10. Public Enterprises: Mr Pravin Gordhan
11. Public Service and Administration: Ms Ayanda Dlodlo
12. Public Works: Mr Thulas Nxesi
13. Rural Development and Land Reform: Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane
14. Science and Technology: Ms Nkhensani Kubayi-Ngubane
15. Social Development: Ms Susan Shabangu
16. Sport and Recreation: Ms Tokozile Xasa
17. State Security: Ms Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba
18. The Presidency: Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation: Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
19. The Presidency: Women: Ms Bathabile Dlamini
20. Tourism: Mr Derek Hanekom
21. Transport: Dr Blade Nzimande
22. Water and Sanitation: Mr Gugile Nkwinti