Cabinet reshuffle: Who is in, who is out?

By Kailene Pillay Time of article published Aug 6, 2021

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Johannesburg - You know there was a Cabinet reshuffle, but do you know who your new ministers are?

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a shake-up to his Cabinet on Thursday night following the resignation of Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

Ramaphosa said he had tried to get Mboweni to stay on in the Cabinet after he had wanted to leave earlier, but this time he acceded to Mboweni’s request to leave government.

Ramaphosa also heeded the call to act decisively against ministers within the country’s security cluster for the government’s catastrophic failures in pre-empting the unrest that rocked KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng recently. One of the major changes was the disbandment of the State Security Ministry. This portfolio will now lie in the presidency.

This is the first reshuffle of Ramaphosa's presidency since he was elected into office in 2019.

These are the minister’s who hold key positions:

Dr Joe Phaahla, 64 – Minister of Health

After holding three deputy posts, Dr Joe Phaahla was promoted to full minister.

Phaahla is no stranger to leading the health sector as he partakes in weekly briefings to update the country on the state of South Africa’s vaccination roll-out.

Phaahla is a founding member of the Azanian Students’ Organisation and was the secretary of the United Democratic Front.

After completing his studies at the University of Natal, he was a senior medical officer and superintendent at Mapulaneng Hospital in Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga between 1987 and 1990.

He also served as medical superintendent at St Rita’s Hospital in Glen Cowie, Limpopo in 1990 and subsequently held the position of director of medical services in the department of health for the former Lebowa homeland.

In 1994 he was appointed as the first MEC for health and social development in Limpopo and subsequently also held the portfolios of education, sports and culture between 1997 and 2000.

He is a former director-general in the then Department of Sport and Recreation and was involved in organising the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

He was elected to the National Executive Committee of the ANC in December 2007.

Phaahla was the head of the ANC presidency responsible for coordinating the office of the president, deputy president and national chairperson during the election campaign from November 2008 to 30 April 2009.

He became the deputy minister of health in May 2019.

Mondli Gungubele, 64 – Minister in the Presidency

Mondli Gungubele was the Deputy Minister of Finance from February 2018 until May 2019, and until Thursday’s appointment as minister, he was chair of Parliament’s social development committee.

Born on February 1, 1957, Gungubele was the previous mayor of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality. He holds a BCom (Law) Degree and a National Diploma in Nursing.

Gungubele also headed the Economic Affairs Portfolio Committee in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature from 2004 to 2007. He has previously been the MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, MEC for Health, and MEC for Social Development and Community Services in Gauteng.

In the ANC, Gungubele served as chairperson of the party's Vosloorus branch in 1992. Before that, he was an educator at Falo Senior Secondary School from 1980 to 1981.

Enoch Godongwana, 64 – Minister of Finance

Enoch Godongwana is chairperson of the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

He has been a non-executive director of paper company Mondi for the last two years and in June this yea was appointed as director of platinum mining company Platinum Group Metals.

Godongwana was born in the Eastern Cape and matriculated from St John’s College in uMthatha.

He started his career in the trade union movement, first as a shop steward in the Metal and Allied Workers' Union, and by 1994 he served on the executive of Cosatu.

He obtained an MSc degree in financial economics from the University of London in 1998, and entered politics, becoming the Eastern Cape’s MEC for provincial treasury, economic affairs, environment and tourism from 1994 to 2004.

He was fired following a report into financial irregularities, but was vindicated after a High Court judge ordered that the report be scrapped.

In 2009, he was appointed by former president Jacob Zuma as deputy minister of Public Enterprises, and the following year as deputy minister of Economic Development.

In 2012, Godongwana stepped down as MP. At that time he was facing a misconduct probe by the ethics committee for allegedly not properly declaring his business and financial interests.

Gondongwana and his wife were embroiled in an inquiry into the disappearance of about R100 million from the SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union pension fund.

Thandi Modise, 61 – Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

Thandi Modise is no stranger to South Africans as she held the position of Speaker of the National Assembly in the sixth administration. She was the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces.

Modise was first elected to Parliament in 1994 and served as the chairperson of several parliamentary committees, such as the Portfolio Committee on Defence, the Joint Standing Committee on Defence and the Ad Hoc Committee for ratification of the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

She was also premier of the North West from 2010 to 2014.

She has a long history of participation in the struggle for freedom from apartheid, starting with the 1976 student uprising. She left the country in her teens for exile and found her way to training camps in Angola and Tanzania, where she became a commissar and eventually a commander of Umkhonto we Sizwe.

Some of her training was in urban and rural guerrilla warfare, and she became an explosive specialist and serving as a political commissar.

Two years after leaving the country, she returned to South Africa and was arrested a year later, in 1979. Modise was sentenced the following year to 10 years behind bars and became the first woman arrested for MK activities in apartheid South Africa.

In the ANC, Modise has been part of both the party’s and its Women’s League’s national executive committees since the 1990s. She served as deputy and acting president of the Women’s league between 1994 and 2004.

She also served as deputy secretary-general of the ANC from 2007 until 2012.

Political Bureau

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