None of the SACP leaders in Zuma's Cabinet was fired, despite the party's public criticism of Zuma and the governing African National Congress (ANC). SACP deputy chairman Thulas Nxesi was moved from the public works ministry to head Sports and Recreation.
He replaced Fikile Mbalula, who is the new minister of police. Nathi Nhleko who was police minister, took over from Nxesi as public works minister.
SACP secretary Blade Nzimande who is also higher education minister and his deputy in the party, Jeremy Cronin, the Public Works deputy minister both survived the chop.
Earlier in the day before the reshuffle, the SACP publicly criticised the manner Zuma runs the ANC and government.
The party said it opposed Zuma's plan to fire Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas. The SACP said the ill-informed move was based on a "shoddy" intelligence report that accused Gordhan and Mcebisi of plotting against Zuma.
The SACP, which has previously threatened to resign en masse should Zuma axe Gordhan, is holding a politburo meeting on Friday. Cosatu said it has "noted" the change in the country's executive and would respond later on Friday.
"The federation will take some time to reflect and study the reshuffle and its implications, and shall offer a much more comprehensive response later.
"This will also form part of the discussions during our upcoming special central executive committee meeting that would be convened on April 3 2017," the country's biggest trade union federation said.