South Africa’s new Cabinet

26 September 2008

South African President-elect Kgalema Motlanthe announced his new Cabinet on Thursday, retaining the majority of ministers who served under the previous administration – including Finance Minister Trevor Manuel – while appointing Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete as the country’s new Deputy President.

Parliament on Thursday elected Motlanthe President of South Africa, a position he will hold until the country’s next elections in 2009. Thabo Mbeki resigned as President on Sunday after being asked to do so by the national executive committee of the African National Congress (ANC).

Eighteen ministers retained their positions under the new President, including Manuel, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (foreign affairs), Mandisi Mphalwa (trade and industry), Buyelwa Sonjica (minerals and energy), Thoko Didiza (agriculture), Membathisi Mdladlana (labour) and Naledi Pandor (education). (See the full list below.)

Another three of Mbeki’s ministers were given new portfolios, with Charles Nqakula moving from safety and security to defence, to replace Mosiuoa Lekota; Brigitte Mabandla moving from justice to public enterprises, to replace Alec Erwin; and Manto Tshabalala-Msimang taking over from Essop Pahad as minister in the Presidency.

ANC MP Barbara Hogan takes over from Tshabalala-Msimang as South Africa’s new minister of health – a decision welcomed by civil society organisation the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), which frequently clashed with Tshabalala-Msimang over her implemenation of South Africa’s policies on HIV/Aids.

New Deputy President

Baleka Mbete, 58, is an experienced political operator who has worked her way up through the ranks of the African National Congress (ANC).

She was promoted from Deputy Speaker to Speaker of Parliament in April 2004, replacing another woman, Frene Ginwala, who had held the post since 1994.

Her elevation marked a long road from her early career as a teacher. She spent two years working in schools in the mid-1970s before going into exile in 1976 and spending more than a decade as an ANC official in Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Mbete returned to South Africa in 1990 to join the ANC’s interim leadership, and was instrumental in re-establishing the party’s women’s league. She also served as ANC secretary-general from 1991 to 1993.

Elected as an ANC MP in 1994, she became a key player in the constitutional assembly that drafted South Africa’s Constitution in 1996, as well as a member of the presidential panel on the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

New ministers

  • Defence – Charles Nqakula
  • Justice and Constitutional Development – Enver Surty
  • Health – Barbara Hogan
  • Safety and Security – Nathi Mthethwa
  • Public Enterprises – Brigitte Mabandla
  • Public Works – Geoff Doidge
  • Intelligence – Siyabonga Cwele
  • Minister in the Presidency – Manto Tshabalala-Msimang
  • Provincial and Local Government – S Shiceka
  • Public Service and Administration – R Baloyi

Ministers who retained their positions

  • Finance – Trevor Manuel
  • Social Development – Zola Skweyiya
  • Education – Naledi Pandor
  • Labour – Membathisi Mdladlana
  • Correctional Services – Ngconde Balfour
  • Housing – Lindiwe Sisulu
  • Arts and Culture – Pallo Jordan
  • Sport and Recreation – Makhenkesi Stofile
  • Environmental Affairs and Tourism – Marthinus van Schalkwyk
  • Water Affairs and Forestry – Lindiwe Hendricks
  • Minerals and Energy – Buyelwa Sonjica
  • Home Affairs – Noziviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
  • Foreign Affairs – Nkosazana-Dlamini Zuma
  • Transport – Jeff Radebe
  • Communications – Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri
  • Trade and Industry – Mandisi Mphalwa
  • Science and Technology – Mosibudi Mangena
  • Agriculture and Land Affairs – Thoko Didiza

Deputy ministers

  • Foreign Affairs – Aziz Pahad
  • Science and Technology – Derek Hanekom
  • Safety and Security – Susan Shabangu
  • Agriculture and Land Affairs – DC du Toit
  • Environmental Affairs and Tourism – Rejoice Mabudafhasi
  • Health – M Sefularo
  • Arts and Culture – NGW Botha
  • Provincial and Local Government – Nomatyala Hangana
  • Social Development – J Swanson-Jacobs
  • Justice and Constitutional Development – Johnny de Lange
  • Defence – F Bhengu
  • Home Affairs – KMN Gigaba
  • Communications – Roy Padayachie
  • Foreign Affairs – Sue van der Merwe
  • Public Works – Dr NM Kganyago
  • Sport and Recreation – Gert Oosthuizen
  • Trade and Industry – Dr RH Davies
  • Trade and Industry – Elizabeth Thabethe
  • Correctional Services – L Jacobus

SAinfo reporter and BuaNews

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