After spending most of Wednesday consulting with his stakeholders in the ANC and advising his future ministers of their selection, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced who will be in his new, trimmed-down cabinet.
The number of ministries has been reduced from 36 to 28, although there are numerous deputies.
Trade and industry and economic development have been combined. Higher education and training has been merged with science and technology. Environmental affairs has combined with forestry and fisheries. Agriculture and land reform and rural development are now one ministry. Mineral resources and energy are once again one ministry. Human settlements has merged with water and sanitation. Sports and recreation has combined with arts and culture.
Telecommunications and communications had already been combined.
“We have also decided to add other responsibilities to other departments. In the case of public works, we decided to add infrastructure development,” said Ramaphosa. “In the case of labour, we decided to add employment so that we demonstrate our country is on the way to creating jobs, so it will be called the ministry of employment and labour.”
The president had previously emphasised that his focus in his first full term after taking over as a caretaker president from Jacob Zuma last year was to stabilise the country’s economy, push for investment and growth, root out corruption and set the country on a path towards more effective and cleaner governance.
In order to do that, though, he needed ministers who shared that vision and had the capacity to see it through. Ramaphosa has previously said that his choice of executive will be a reflection of the best the ANC can offer.
He said on Wednesday he looked for people who were hardworking, committed, experienced, competent and capable.
Ramaphosa said he was also cognisant of continuity, generational mix and gender. He called on those he was appointing to be aware of the huge responsibility on their shoulders.
“I will be signing performance agreements with all ministers and deputy ministers.”
The following are his appointments:
Deputy president: David Mabuza.
Agriculture, land reform and rural development: Thoko Didiza, with the two deputies being S’dumo Dlamini and Mcebisi Skwatsha.
Basic education: Angie Motshekga. Deputy: Regina Mhaule.
Communications: Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Deputy: Pinky Kekana.
Cooperative governance and traditional affairs: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Deputies: Parks Tau and Obed Bapela.
Defence and military veterans: Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Deputy: Thabang Makwetla.
Environment, forestry and fisheries: Barbara Creecy. Deputy: Maggie Sotyu.
Employment and labour: Thulas Nxesi. Deputy: Boitumelo Moloi.
Finance: Tito Mboweni. Deputy: David Masondo.
Health: Zweli Mkhize. Deputy: Joe Phaahla.
Public works and infrastructure: Patricia de Lille. Deputy: Noxolo Kiviet.
Higher education, science and technology: Blade Nzimande. Deputy: Buti Manamela.
Home affairs: Aaron Motsoaledi. Deputy. Njabulo Nzuza.
Human settlements, water and sanitation: Lindiwe Sisulu. Deputies: Pam Tshwete and David Mahlobo.
International relations: Naledi Pandor. Deputy ministers: Alvin Botes and Candith Mashego-Dlamini.
Justice and correctional services: Ronald Lamola. Deputies: John Jeffery and Inkosi Phathekile Holomisa.
Mineral resources and energy: Gwede Mantashe. Deputy: Bavelile Hlongwa.
Police: Bheki Cele. Deputy: Cassel Mathale.
Minister in the presidency: Jackson Mthembu. Deputy: Thembi Siweya.
Minister in the presidency for women, youth and persons with disabilities: Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Deputy: Hlengiwe Mkhize.
Public enterprises: Pravin Gordhan. Deputy: Phumulo Masualle.
Public service and administration: Senzo Mchunu. Deputy: Sindy Chikunga.
Small business development: Khumbudzo Ntshavheni. Deputy: Rosemary Capa.
Social development: Lindiwe Zulu. Deputy: Henrietta Bogopane-Zulu.
Sports, arts and culture: Nathi Mthethwa. Deputy: Nocawe Mafu.
State security: Ayanda Dlodlo: Deputy: Zizi Kodwa.
Tourism: Nkhensani Kubayi-Ngubane. Deputy: Fish Mahlalela.
Trade and industry: Ebrahim Patel. Deputies: Fikile Majola and Nomalungelo Gina.
Transport: Fikile Mbalula. Deputy: Dikeledi Magadzi.
The Constitution, which Ramaphosa himself was a central co-author of, empowers the president of the republic to be the sole discretionary authority to hire and fire ministers, as well as the deputy president.
However, he has balanced numerous interests in his party, which can often be at odds with each other, and Ramaphosa needed to find a way to satisfy constituents in the ruling party who place loyalty to the party and its cadres above loyalty to the country.
Take a look at a live video of his announcement from the Union Buildings of what he has decided below, courtesy of SABC. (Note: The announcement was meant to happen at 8pm, but was then delayed):
Ramaphosa’s previous cabinet reshuffles had largely respected the very bloated cabinet size selected by Zuma.
It was also announced that he will be giving his third state of the nation address on June 20.
The ANC said in a statement after the announcement that they were confident all their cadres appointed to Cabinet were equal to the task of implementing the ANC agenda of growing the economy and economy and creating jobs for the people of South Africa.
“The ANC believes that Cde Cyril Ramaphosa and his team will hit the ground running and focus on the needs and aspirations of our people.
“We commend Cde Cyril Ramaphosa for reconfiguring ministries in a manner that takes into account the imperative of reducing the burden on the public purse without compromising government’s capacity to deliver on its undertakings.
“We are satisfied that the newly announced Cabinet reflects a good balance of youth, gender, geographical spread and experience.
“We wish our cadres the best as they embark on this arduous task of implementing the ANC manifesto, which is premised on job creation, growing the economy ensuring effective governance and fighting corruption.”