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Thu, 30 May 2019
Ramaphosa announces cabinet: Mabuza, Gordhan, Mboweni – and De Lille...

President Cyril Ramaphosa has brought in a member of the opposition, Patricia de Lille, to head the ministry of public works.

The president announced his executive on Wednesday evening, reducing the size of cabinet from 36 to 28 ministers.

Ramaphosa’s executive had few surprises as he got rid of all those implicated in state capture while bringing in young blood.

“In appointing a new national executive, I have taken a number of considerations into account, including experience, continuity, competence, generational mix and demographic and regional diversity,” he said.

Ramaphosa said that those who were appointed must realise that the expectations of the South African people had never been greater and that they would shoulder a great responsibility.

“Their performance – individually and collectively – will be closely monitored against specific outcomes. Where implementation is unsatisfactory, action will be taken,” he said.

Newcomers include Senzo Mchunu at the department of public service and administration, Ronald Lamola as justice minister and Jackson Mthembu will now serve as minister in the presidency.

Former Gauteng finance MEC Barbara Creecy is the new minister of environment, forestry and fisheries.

The new department of agriculture and land reform will be headed by Thoko Didiza. Minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs is Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The new health minister is Zweli Mkhize, while Aaron Motsoaledi has become home affairs minister.

The minister of state security is Ayanda Dlodlo, with her deputy being Zizi Kodwa.

The minister of tourism is Nkhensani Kubayi-Ngubane, while Ebrahim Patel will head the new department of economic development, trade and industry.

Fikile Mbalula is the new transport minister.

Tito Mboweni remains finance minister, Angie Motshekga stays in education, while Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula stays on as defence minister.

Blade Nzimande remains as higher education minister, with Buti Manamela as his deputy.

Bheki Cele will continue in his police portfolio, with Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams continuing as minister of communication.

Here is the full list:

The deputy president is David Mabuza. The minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development is Thoko Didiza. The deputy ministers are Sdumo Dlamini and Mcebisi Skwatsha. The minister of basic education is Angie Motshekga. The deputy minister is Dr Regina Mhaule. The minister of communications is Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. The deputy minister is Pinky Kekana. The minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs is Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The deputy ministers are Parks Tau and Obed Bapela. The minister of defence and military veterans is Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. The deputy minister is Thabang Makwetla. The minister of environment, forestry and fisheries is Barbara Creecy. The deputy minister is Maggie Sotyu. The minister of employment and labour is Thulas Nxesi. The deputy minister is Boitumelo Moloi. The minister of finance is Tito Mboweni. The deputy minister is Dr David Masondo. The minister of health is Dr Zwelini Mkhize. The deputy minister is Dr Joe Phaahla. The minister of higher education, science and technology is Dr Blade Nzimande. The deputy minister is Buti Manamela. The minister of home affairs is Dr Aaron Motsoaledi. The deputy minister is Njabulo Nzuza. The minister of human settlements, water and sanitation is Lindiwe Sisulu. The deputy ministers are Pam Tshwete and David Mahlobo. The minister of international relations and cooperation is [...]
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Mon, 27 May 2019
South Africa’s President Ramaphosa vows ‘new era’ at inauguration...

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to bring about “hope and renewal” as he was inaugurated at a stadium in the capital Pretoria.

The African National Congress (ANC) leader vowed to tackle corruption and rejuvenate the struggling economy.

He was elected earlier this month with a majority of 57.5%, the smallest since the party came to power 25 years ago.

Mr Ramaphosa initially took over from Jacob Zuma in 2018 after Mr Zuma was accused of corruption.

Mr Ramaphosa is the country’s fifth democratically elected president since apartheid ended in 1994.

“This is a defining moment for a young nation like ours,” the president said in his speech in front of 32,000 people at the rugby stadium in Pretoria.

“There shall no longer be any person in this land who will be unable to meet their basic needs,” he promised.

Heads of state from more than 40 countries attended the inauguration and Mr Ramaphosa thanked them for their “sacrifices and tireless contributions” for the “liberation of our land”.

He paid tribute to Nelson Mandela and said that in the 25 years since Mr Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first democratically elected president the country had “known both seasons of plenty and times of scarcity”.

“Many South Africans still go to bed hungry, many succumb to diseases that can be treated, many live lives of intolerable deprivation,” he acknowledged.

“Too many of our people do not work, especially the youth,” he said speaking on the 27% of young people who are unemployed.

He said the challenges the country faced were “real” but “not insurmountable” and “can be solved”.

Mr Ramaphosa is expected to choose his cabinet within the next few days, a challenge in itself in a party with many factions.

“He will be judged on a very high bar and the next step is the cabinet,” Daniel Silke, director of the Political Futures Consultancy, told Reuters.

“If it contains any semblance of the dead wood from the past he will be severely critiqued,” he added.

Mr Zuma did not make an appearance at the inauguration, having attended court in the city of Pietermaritzburg on Friday in relation to corruption charges.

He told supporters he did not have time as he was “fighting to stay out of jail”.


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Thu, 23 May 2019
South Africa’s parliament elects Cyril Ramaphosa as president

South African legislators elected Cyril Ramaphosapresident on Wednesday and he promised to create jobs and work for the interests of all citizens, not just members of the majority African National Congress (ANC).

The ANC won South Africa’s May 8 general election, enabling the party to pick the country’s president, but its share of the vote fell to a post-apartheid low – reflecting anger at corruption and cronyism under Ramaphosa’s predecessor Jacob Zuma.

Many voters were also dismayed at the racial inequality that remains entrenched a generation since the former liberation movement took power.

“Only one candidate has been nominated. I accordingly declare the honourable Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa duly elected president of the Republic of South Africa,” Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said.

Ramaphosa, who is also the leader of the ANC, was elected without contest and will be officially inaugurated on Saturday.

The election of the former trade union boss turned businessman was greeted by applause from a packed public gallery and opposition benches, including the far-left Economic Freedom Front, which had a fractious relationship with Zuma.

“I will be a president for all South Africans and not just a president for the African National Congress,” Ramaphosa said. “We have been given this responsibility on an overriding basis to revive our economy, to create jobs.”


In a sign that Ramaphosa is following up on his campaign promises to rid his party and government of corruption, the country’s current deputy president, David Mabuza, was not sworn into Parliament Wednesday.

Ramaphosa announced that Mabuza’s investiture to Parliament was delayed because of an incriminating report on him by the ANC’s Integrity Commission, which alleges he brought the party into disrepute.

The commission probes allegations of wrongdoing within the party and maintains that ANC leaders should step down from leadership positions while facing disciplinary proceedings.

Other notable ANC leaders not sworn into Parliament include two former Cabinet ministers Nomvula Mokonyane and Malusi Gigaba.

They have both been implicated by whistleblowers at a government commission probing allegations of graft during President Zuma’s term of office.

South Africa’s president is not elected directly by voters but is chosen by the Parliament.

The number of votes each party receives in the national election determines how many representatives the parties have in the 400-seat legislature. The members of parliament then elect the president.

Ramaphosa’s ANC has 230 seats in South Africa’s sixth democratic parliament since the fall of apartheid in 1994. The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has 84 seats and the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters has 44 seats.

Ramaphosa will be inaugurated as president at a stadium in Pretoria on Saturday and he is expected to announce his new Cabinet the next day. The Cabinet will be a litmus test of Ramaphosa’s commitment to cleaning up corruption, say analysts. Local media reports suggest there are moves within the ANC to have a female candidate appointed as new deputy president.

South Africa’s economy grew an estimated 0.8 percent in 2018 after recovering from recession. Growth is forecast at 1.5 percent this year, but hitting that target could depend on how successfully the government manages the restructuring of debt-laden power utility [...]

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