South Africa's President Ramaphosa announces his new cabinet in Pretoria. Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO
South Africa's President Ramaphosa announces his new cabinet in Pretoria. Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO

Ramaphosa appoints 9 Ministers from KZN in his Cabinet

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published May 30, 2019

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Durban - President Cyril Ramaphosa named nine KwaZulu-Natal born ministers in his Cabinet, which he announced late on Wednesday night.

He also appointed three deputy ministers who are born in the province.

Ramaphosa reduced the Cabinet from 36 ministers during former president Jacob Zuma’s administration, to 28.

But this has been overshadowed by the increase in deputy ministries.

From the 12 ministers and deputy ministers with KZN links, at least seven also served previously in Zuma’s cabinet.

The newcomers into national government and the executive, are  Senzo Mchunu, who is seen as a Ramaphosa backer, Njabulo Nzuza from the ANC Youth League, Sdumo Dlamini - the former president of trade union Cosatu and Thoko Didiza, who returns to government after serving in Parliament in the previous administration.

Here is the full list of KZN cabinet ministers:

Thoko Didiza - Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

Didiza, 53, was born in Clermont, a township to the west of Durban. She matriculated at Inanda’s Ohlange High School in 1981 and obtained several of her qualifications at Durban based institutions.

She has obtained several certificates and diploma qualifications during the 1980’s from Durban’s Executive Education College, including in personnel and training practice and public relations.

Minister Thoko Didiza

She also studied journalism and holds a honours degree in politics.

Didiza served as the Minister of Agriculture between 1999 and 2006 under the Thabo Mbeki administration, and as a deputy minister in the same portfolio under Nelson Mandela.

More recently, she was one of the presiding officers in Parliament and in 2016 was engulfed in controversy when ANC supporters protested her nomination as the party’s mayoral candidate for the City of Tshwane.

According to Parliament’s registree of interests, she is a trustee of the Ohlange Institute, the Thabo Mbeki Foundation and the Parmed Medical Aid.

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma - Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

The 70-year-old went toe to toe with Ramaphosa at the ANC’s elective conference in Nasrec in December 2017 and lost. She is a medical doctor by profession and has been bestowed with the Order of Luthuli in Gold. She served as the chairperson of the African Union, becoming the first woman to lead the commission, and has served under presidents Mandela, Mbeki, Zuma and Ramaphosa.

She is a trustee of the NC Dlamini-Zuma Trust and owns rural land in Nkumba, near Bulwer, in the KZN province.

Dr Zweli Mkhize - Minister of Health

Zweki Mkhize is now the Minister of Health.

The 63-year-old Pietermaritzburg-born medical doctor is also a former premier in the province and a former Chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has also served as an MEC in health and finance in KZN.

Dr Blade Nzimande - Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande. File photo: ANA

The 61-year-old Nzimande returns to the higher education portfolio under its reconfigured state, with the inclusion of science and technology. Nzimande gained infamy during the #FeesMustFall protests of 2015 - when he joked that ‘students must fall’.

Nzimande holds a doctorate in philosophy and is a former lecturer of the universities of Zululand and Natal (now UKZN), He is also the general secretary of the SACP.

He is a patron of the Dambuza Community Trust and holds properties in Kwa Dumbuza and Ashburton, Pietermaritzburg.

General Bheki Cele - Minister of Police

The tough-talking ‘Chest in, Chest out’ police general has been restored as Police Minister after being appointed by Ramaphosa when Zuma resigned last year. The Umzumbe-born politician voted at the Durban township of Lamontville in the recent elections, an area he spent much of his life and where he was first arrested during apartheid. Cele owns property in Umhlanga, Durban.

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Pravin Gordhan - Minister of Public Enterprises

The 70-year-old retained his position to the anger of parties like the EFF and ATM, who were calling for his exclusion in Ramaphosa’s Cabinet because of an adverse founding by the Public Protector. Born in Durban, he matriculated at Sastri College and obtained a pharmacy degree at the University of Durban-Westville (now UKZN). He also obtained a DTech in business administration in 2009 from the Free State Central University of Technology. He owns a flat in Durban and property in Groenkloof, Pretoria.

Public Entreprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Senzo Mchunu - Minister of Public Service and Administration

The 61-year-old KwaHlabisa-born politician narrowly missed out on the ANC secretary-general position when he went head to head with the incumbent, Ace Magashule. Seen as a Ramaphosa man, Mchunu is a former teacher and has served as an Education MEC in KZN and also as the Premier.

Senzo Mchunu the new minister of public service and administration

Nathi Mthethwa - Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture

The Empangeni-born 52-year-old will lead two reconfigured ministries. Mthethwa is a former police minister and since he was appointed to the arts portfolio in 2014, he has become known for his announcements of deaths and achievements of artists. Mthethwa holds a community development qualification from the University of Natal (now UKZN), a mining engineering certificate from the University of Johannesburg and a certificate in communications leadership from Rhodes University. He also owns property in Klaarwater, near Durban.

New Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa at the public gathering in Bo-Kaap. Picture Ian Landsberg/AFRICAN EWS AGENCY (ANA)

Dr Naledi Pandor - Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

The 65-year-old Durban-born granddaughter of stalwart ZK Matthews granddaughter and daughter of Joe Matthews made it in Ramaphosa’s Cabinet. For a second, one would have thought she was left out, but the president, appearing tired, skipped her name by mistake. Although Pandor now lives in Cape Town, she was born in Durban in 1953. She has served in Cabinet since 2004.

Sdumo Dlamini - Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

According to SA History Online, Dlamini was born in Swaziland and later moved to Ingwavuma. A nurse by profession, he served as Cosatu president until last year. He worked at Umlazi’s Prince Mshiyeni Hospital. He was also Cosatu president when the trade union Numsa left the federation and also fired general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Njabulo Nzuza - Deputy Minister of Home Affairs

At 35, Nzuza is one of the ANC Youth League’s young lions who has been elevated to government. The eSikhaleni-born outgoing secretary-general of the ANCYL has worked as a senior manager in the economic development unit at the uThungulu District Municipality.

Home Affairs deputy minister Njabulo Nzuza. Picture: African News Agency (ANA Archives)

Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize - Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

The 56-year-old former lecturer from the universities of Zululand and KZN is no stranger to government, having served as higher education and home affairs minister during Zuma’s tenure. She has served as an ambassador to the Netherlands and in a number of positions as deputy minister.

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