After a victorious electoral conference, Ramaphosa was officially inaugurated as the president of South Africa on 25 May. He prolonged his Cabinet announcement amid a barrage of controversy and subversive speculation.
By law, the president, after being inaugurated, has just five days to take up office along with his selected ministers. Ramaphosa cut it fine, and speaking of cutting, he has trimmed eight ministries from his new cabinet, while merging together these 16 departments:
- Trade and industry combined with economic development.
- Higher education and training combined with science and technology.
- Enviromental affairs combined with forestry and fisheries.
- Agriculture combined with land reform and rural development.
- Mineral resources combined with energy.
- Human settlements combined with waste and sanitation.
- Sports and recreation combined with arts and culture.
Shortly after 8:00 on Wednesday night, the president ascended to his podium at the Union Buildings in Tshwane. The broadcasted address, with its purpose to officially announce the composition of the National Executive, served as customary closure to the electoral encounter.
Here Are The Names Of Those Who Made The List:
Deputy President: David Mabuza
Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development: Thoko Didiza
Minister of Basic Education: Angie Motshekga
Minister of Communications: Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs: Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
Minister of Defence and Military Veterans: Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries: Barbara Creecy
Minister of Employment and Labour: Thulas Nxesi
Minister of Finance: Tito Mboweni
Minister of Health: Dr Zwelini Mkhize
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology: Dr Blade Nzimande
Minister of Home Affairs: Dr Aaron Motsoaledi
Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation: Lindiwe Sisulu
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation: Dr Naledi Pandor
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services: Ronald Lamola
Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy: Gwede Mantashe
Minister of Police: General Bheki Cele
Minister in the Presidency: Jackson Mthembu
Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities: Maite Nkoana-Mashabane
Minister of Public Enterprises: Pravin Gordhan
Minister of Public Service and Administration: Senzo Mchunu
Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure: Patricia De Lille
Minister of Small Business Development: Khumbudzo Ntshavheni
Minister of Social Development: Lindiwe Zulu
Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture: Nathi Mthethwa
Minister of State Security: Ayanda Dlodlo
Minister of Tourism: Nkhensani Kubayi-Ngubane
Minister of Trade and Industry: Ebrahim Patel
Minister of Transport: Fikile Mbalula
Cabinet announcement – shocks and shuffles
One name that pops out immediately there is Patricia de Lille, who has managed to bag herself a role as the Public Works and Infrastructure Minister. It’s not clear how this will impact her work with the Good Party.
Meanwhile, Fikile Mbalula makes a return to the cabinet as Transport Minister, whereas Jackson Mthembu swaps the party whip for the role of Presidential Minister. Pravin Gordhan remains in his position, but Bathabile Dlamini has been booted out of office. A “new dawn” indeed…
With South Africa’s sixth democratic parliament – both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) – officially sworn-in and the inauguration complete, the ministerial resolution completes the trinity of state.
The final process was not, however, free of controversy. Widespread speculation, emboldened by claims of ‘leaked lists’ and spurious social media sleuthing, shrouded the impending announcement in uneasiness. Delays in the swearing-in of David Mabuza, who served as the deputy to both Ramaphosa and the nation prior to the electoral outing, did little to allay the dread.
Other African National Congress (ANC) cadres, who previously held ministerial positions under Ramaphosa’s reign, also got chopped from parliament. To top it all off, Pravin Gordhan – who has long been referred to as Ramaphosa’s right-hand man – was blasted by a Public Protector and, subsequently, came under scrutiny from the ANC’s electoral commission.
With the preceding discomfort and uncertainty now behind Ramaphosa, his cohorts and the nation, a new era of statesmanship emerges. This process of rejuvenation, both within the ruling party and South Africa, is expected to be fraught with similar feelings of discomposure as the ever-present plague of political factionalism threatens to manifest in the most tangible of manners.