President Jacob Zuma has announced changes to the national cabinet, including a new minister of communications, and energy.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the presidency said the following changes would be made to the National Executive:
- Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize is the Minister of Higher Education and Training – formerly Blade Nzimande.
- Ayanda Dlodlo is the Minister of Home Affairs – formerly Hlengiwe Mkhize.
- Mmamaloko Kubayi is the Minister of Communications – formerly Ayanda Dlodlo.
- David Mahlobo is the Minister of Energy – formerly Mmamoloko Kubayi.
- Advocate Bongani Thomas Bongo is the Minister of State Security – formerly David Mahlobo.
- Buti Manamela is the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training – formerly Mduduzi Manana.
The friction between SACP general secretary and now former minister of higher education Blade Nzimande has been heavily publicised, with the SACP actively calling for Zuma to step down over the past few months.
Similarly, Zuma was likely left with no choice in replacing the deputy minister of higher education, Mduduzi Manana, after he was charged with assaulting two women at a Johannesburg nightclub in August.
The appointment of David Mahlobo as the minister of energy on the day that the parliamentary inquiry into state capture at Eskom is also conspicuous, with Mahlobo previously being labelled as “Zuma’s prime minister”.
In September he was implicated as part of the “new Guptas” – a group including Gayton McKenzie and Kenny Kunene – in a new multibillion-rand gas deal with Russia.
He has also been heavily criticised for not pursuing former public protector Thuli Mandonsela’s report on state capture against President Zuma.
“I thank the former members of the National Executive for good service in their previous portfolios. I wish the members who are assuming new portfolios all the best in their new responsibilities,” the presidency said.