President Jacob Zuma File picture: Thobile Mathonsi/Independent Media

Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma has appointed 10 new ministers and 10 deputy ministers following one of the biggest culls of a cabinet since the advent of democracy.

The new appointments were confirmed in a statement from the Presidency issued after midnight on Friday.

And the worst kept secret of the past week has been confirmed in the statement: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebesi Jonas have been axed and replaced with Malusi Gigaba and Sifiso Buthelezi.

New ministers

1. Minister of Energy, Ms Mmamoloko “Nkhensani” Kubayi

2. Minister of Transport, Mr Joe Maswanganyi

3. Minister of Finance, Mr Malusi Gigaba

4. Minister of Police, Mr Fikile Mbalula

5. Minister of Public Works, Mr Nathi Nhleko,

6. Minister of Sports and Recreation, Mr Thembelani Nxesi

7. Minister of Tourism, Ms Tokozile Xasa

8. Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Faith Muthambi

9. Minister of Home Affairs, Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize

10. Minister of Communications, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo

New deputy ministers

1. Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba

2. Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Sifiso Buthelezi

3. Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Ben Martins

4. Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms Maggie Sotyu

5. Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Gratitude Magwanishe

6. Deputy Minister of Communications, Ms Thandi Mahambehlala,

7. Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe

8. Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Bongani Mkongi

9. Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

10. Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Nomathemba November.

"I have decided to make changes to the National Executive in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness," Zuma said in the statement. "The changes bring some younger MPs and women into the National Executive in order to benefit from their energy, experience and expertise," he said.

"I have directed the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers to work tirelessly with their colleagues to bring about radical socio-economic transformation and to ensure that the promise of a better life for the poor and the working class becomes a reality."

Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle follows two days of high drama, when most of the media were reporting that the tide had turned against the president, and that he was close to being asked to step down.

But a source close to the presidency told Independent Mediad this was “rubbish”.

Zuma “is as entrenched in the position as he has even been”.

The fact that he has been able to make all these changes shows how strong he is in the party, the source said. “At the moment, Zuma cannot be touched. He has thrown down the gauntlet to those who want him out: “Remove me – if you dare."

The reshuffle is a clear indication that in the past few days, the battle for the soul of the ANC has moved into overdrive, with the president moving decisively to strengthen his hand.

Political Bureau