President Cyril Ramaphosa announced new ministerial positions and a restructured national executive on Thursday.
The president said this was an effort to fill key vacancies in the executive.
“These include vacancies created by the tragic passing of Minister Jackson Mthembu and Deputy Minister Bavelile Hlongwa, and the appointment of former Deputy Minister Parks Tau as an MEC in Gauteng,” Ramaphosa said.
“A further vacancy has arisen following the request I have received from Minister Zwelini Mkhize to allow him to step down as the Minister of Health in order to bring certainty and stability to this important portfolio.
“I have also accepted a long-standing request by Minister Tito Mboweni to be excused from his position as Minister of Finance. Minister Mboweni took up this position following the sudden departure of former Minister Nhlanhla Nene in October 2018,” Ramaphosa said.
The president also announced changes to the structure of the executive committee.
“Water and Sanitation should be a separate Ministry [from Human Settlements], which will enable a dedicated focus on ensuring that all South Africans have access to a secure and sustainable supply of this precious resource.
“The second change we are making is to do away with the Ministry of State Security and place political responsibility for the State Security Agency in the Presidency,” Ramaphosa said.
“This is to ensure that the country’s domestic and foreign intelligence services more effectively enable the President to exercise his responsibility to safeguard the security and integrity of the nation.”
Questions will be asked in days to come about the appropriateness of having the State Security Agency (SSA) now reporting directly into the Presidency. Zizi Kodwa was effectively transferred to the Presidency as deputy minister responsible for the agency.
The agency is in dire need of a strong and competent director-general who will have to ensure enough political independence from the Office of the President. Kodwa is still in a race to clear his name after being implicated in dodgy transactions at the Zondo Commission, and may not be in a position to provide the leadership the SSA so desperately needs.
The following new ministerial appointments were announced:
- The Presidency: Mondli Gungubele
- Communications and Digital Technologies: Khumbudzo Ntshavheni
- Defence and Military Veterans: Thandi Modise
- Finance: Enoch Godongwana
- Health: Joe Phaahla
- Human Settlements: Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane
- Public Service and Administration: Ayanda Dlodlo
- Small Business Development: Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
- Tourism: Lindiwe Sisulu
- Water and Sanitation: Senzo Mchunu
“Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula will be deployed to a new position, and we thank her for service to the nation and dedication to her responsibilities,” Ramaphosa said.
The following deputy ministers were appointed:
- The Presidency: Pinky Kekana will step in as a second Deputy Minister
- DM Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform: Zoleka Capa
- DM Communications and Digital Technologies: Philly Mapulane
- DM Health: Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo
- DM Mineral Resources and Energy: Dr Nobuhle Nkabane
- DM Public Service and Administration: Dr Chana Pilane-Majake
- DM Small Business Development: Sdumo Dlamini
- DM Transport: Sindisiwe Chikunga
- DM Water and Sanitation: Dikeledi Magadzi
- DM in the Presidency responsible for state security: Zizi Kodwa
The president also announced the appointment of an expert panel tasked with strengthening the South African security services.
The members of the panel are Professor Sandy Africa as chair, Advocate Mojanku Gumbi and Silumko Sokupa.
Ramaphosa concluded his address by saying: “As this administration, as this collective, we are unwavering in our determination to build a capable state, one which is ably led and which effectively serves the needs of the people.”