Who are our new Ministers in cabinet?

All those taxpayer-funded luxury sedans have barely lost their ‘new car’ smell and already we are faced with a fresh batch of ministers. Not that we’re complaining. Most – bar one, perhaps – of the ministers who were booted unceremoniously out of Zuma’s Cabinet were simply living it up instead of living up to our not-particularly-high expectations. So, as long as the new ministers don’t feel the need to splurge on newer cars and houses, we are willing to give them a chance.

We’ve put together a nifty little guide to the new members of Zuma’s Cabinet.


Out: Buyelwa Sonjica

Buyelwa Sonjica came under fire from opposition parties when she refused to release a report that detailed the breakdown in water processing at South African treatment plants on the grounds that the data would be misinterpreted and cause public alarm. More recently, she was dragged before Parliament to answer questions about her department’s unsatisfactory annual report.

In: Edna Molewa

Previous post: Minister of Social Development since 2009. From 2004 to 2009, Molewa was the Premier of the North West Province.

ANC credentials: Molewa served in the Umkhonto we sizwe (MK) underground structures of the ANC from 1976 to 1990. She has been a member of the ANCWL’s NEC since 2003.

Qualifications: Completed a course in Leadership in Governance at the Kennedy School of Government and a course in Economic leadership for the New Millennium and Administration Management from the Wharton School of Business. She is currently doing a B.Com degree through the University of South Africa.

Controversies: Nothing noteworthy.


Out: General Siphiwe Nyanda

While pre-NGC Zuma seemed reluctant about taking on the general, post-NGC Zuma seems to have decided that all the allegations of corruption and wasteful expenditure were getting in the way of service delivery. Finally.

In: Radhakrishna ‘Roy’ Padayachie

Previous post: Deputy minister of Communications since 2004.

ANC credentials: Joined the ANC in 1972 and was a member of the ANC KwaZulu-Natal negotiations team at Codesa.

Qualifications: Bsc in Chemistry and Microbiology from the University of Durban-Westville and a Bsc Masters from the University of London (Agricultural Economics).

Controversies: Nothing noteworthy.


Moved: Edna Molewa

In: Bathabile Dlamini

Previous post: Deputy minister of Social Development since 2009.

ANC credentials: Secretary general of the ANC Women’s League from 1998 to 2008 and is believed to have been instrumental in getting the ANCWL to back Zuma ahead of the Polokwane election. Dlamini has been member of the ANC NEC and National Working Committee since 2007.

Qualifications: BA in Social Studies from the University of Zululand.

Controversies: Dlamini pleaded guilty to fraud involving an amount of R254 000 in the Travelgate saga. She was fined and given a suspended five-year sentence in 2006.


Out: Barbara Hogan

Never really part of the Zuma clique, Hogan’s days were numbered following a crisis of leadership at both Eskom and Transnet. Known for her outspoken ways, Hogan probably also ruffled a few feathers with her call for transparency during the debate about Chancellor House’s stake in Hitachi Power Africa. Recently, Hogan shut down the failed R9.2-billion Pebble Bed Modular Reactor.

In: Knowledge Malusi Gigaba

Previous post: Deputy minister of Home Affairs since 2004.

ANC credentials: Leader of the ANC Youth League from 1996 to 2004. Member of the ANC NEC.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Education (University of Durban-Westville) and Master of Arts in Social Policy (UDW)

Controversies: In 2007 Gigaba faced allegations of financial misconduct for sending flowers to his wife at the expense of the Department of Home Affairs (R547 per bouquet). He was also accused of running a private organisation – The Malusi Gigaba Institute of Leadership – from his office. Recently, he courted controversy when he pushed for a law which would effectively ban internet pornography.


Moved: Lulu Xingwana

In: Paul Mashatile

Previous post: Deputy minister of Arts and Culture since 2009. From October 2008 to May 2009, Mashatile was the Premier of Gauteng.

ANC credentials: Mashatile was detained without trial for almost four years from 1985 to 1989. During this time, he was the secretary general of the United Democratic Front. He survived a bomb attack on his home by apartheid security forces. From 1991 to 1994 he was in charge of political education in the ANC. He has been the Gauteng provincial chairperson of the ANC since 2007. He is also a member of the South African Communist Party.

Qualifications: Post-graduate diploma in Economic Principles from the University of London.

Controversies: Mashatile made headlines in 2006 when he spent almost R100 000 (of taxpayers’ money) on a dinner at the Auberge Michel restaurant in Sandton. From February to June 2006, Mashatile allegedly spent R250 000 on restaurant bills. He also faced allegations that he knew about Carl Niehaus’s alleged fraud and corruption while he was the chief executive of the Gauteng Economic Development Agency, but did nothing about it.


Out: Geoff Doidge

Another hangover from Kgalema Motlanthe’s Cabinet, Doidge recently put on hold a controversial lease which would have seen the police dishing out R500-million for new headquarters in Pretoria. Over the past 17 months, Doidge has been embroiled in a number of disputes with his directors-general over the questionable granting of contracts.

In: Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde

Previous post: Deputy minister of Economic Development from 2009. From 2008 to 2009, Mahlangu-Nkabinde was the Speaker of the National Assembly.

ANC credentials: A member of the ANCWL’s NEC from 1997 to 2003.

Qualifications: Mahlangu-Nkabinde has been pursuing an LLB degree through the University of South Africa since 2004.

Controversies: nothing noteworthy.


Out: Makhenkesi Sofile

Stofile has done little that could be regarded as constructive during his tenure as sports minister. He has been criticised for his poor handling of crises and general lack of response to major sporting events, such as the Football World Cup and the Olympics.

In: Fikile Mbalula

Previous post: Deputy minister of the Police since 2009.

ANC credentials: Having occupied leadership positions in the ANCYL since 1994, Mbalula was the youth league president from 2004 to 2008. A member of the ANC NEC, Mbalula was the manager of the ANC election campaign for the 2009 general elections.

Qualifications: Trained in Leadership Skills by the Careers Research and Information Centre.

Controversies: In 2007, Mbalula sparked ire when he likened the University of KwaZulu-Natal to Bombay, claiming that there were too many Indian students, and not enough black students, at the university. He courted more controversy when he wrote a letter to Trevor Manuel, calling him an “attention-seeking drama queen”.


Out: Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya

Mayende-Sibiya has been accused of failing to get this new ministry off the ground. She has, however, managed to spend an impressive amount of money in doing so: R1.2-million on food, R7.1-million on jetting around the country, and R8.3-million on a big party.

In: Lulu Xingwana

Previous post: Minister of Arts and Culture since 2009. Before this, she was the minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs (2006-2009) and the deputy minister of Minerals and Energy (2004-2006)

ANC credentials: Member of the ANCWL National Working Committee since 1993.

Qualifications: Bsc from the University of the Witwatersrand and post-graduate diplomas in Economic Principles, Development, and Leadership Studies.

Controversies: In 2007, Xingwana caused an uproar when she accused white farmers of being cruel and inhumane towards their workers, claiming that they regularly “rape and assault” them. More recently, during her tenure as Arts and Culture minister, she stormed out of an art exhibition which contained images of naked black women embracing each other, claiming that the images were “immoral”. Following this, she was accused of homophobia.


Out: Membathisi Mdladlana

It was time for some fresh blood – Mdladlana has been in the post since he was appointed Labour Minister by Nelson Mandela in 1998.

In: Mildred Oliphant

Previous post: Chairwoman of the ANC parliamentary caucus since 2009. Prior to this, she was chairperson of the National Council of Provinces from 2004 to 2009.

ANC credentials: ANCWL’s Regional Convener (North Coast) and Provincial Treasurer (KZN) from 2008. She was previously the chairperson of Cosatu’s Women’s Forum.

Qualifications: Certificates in Macroeconomics and Project Management.

Controversies: Nothing noteworthy.

Our new Minister for Water and Environmental Affairs used to be the premier of the North West. Not very reassuring when the state of water in this province is one of the poorest. Residents in Hartebeespoort have resorted to bottled water for drinking water. Hopefully the B.Com degree she is busy with is nearing completion. One can only hope for stability and effective leadership. We need brave leaders when faced with the water crisis that we are.

Rainwater harvesting is a sustainable solution to the water crisis. Instead of placing your trust in revolving leadership and accountability, place your trust in Water Rhapsody. After 17 years of constant innovative solutions, we can certainly be depended on.

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