President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Phindile Baleni as director-general of The Presidency and Secretary of Cabinet. File photo. @GautengProvince/Twitter
President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Phindile Baleni as director-general of The Presidency and Secretary of Cabinet. File photo. @GautengProvince/Twitter

Cyril Ramaphosa snatches top civil servant from David Makhura

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Mar 31, 2021

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Johannesburg - Top government official Phindile Baleni has traded her job in the Gauteng provincial government for another job in the Presidency.

She has been appointed as director-general in the office of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

She previously held the same position in Premier David Makhura’s office since 2015.

The Presidency announced the appointment on Wednesday.

Ramaphosa said the appointment was in terms of Section 84 of the Constitution.

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and South Africa’s pursuit of economic reconstruction and recovery, the appointment of the director-general is vital to the functioning and impact of The Presidency at the apex of the system of government.

The Presidency coordinates the development and implementation of government policy and engages in partnerships with all sectors of society and international stakeholders in pursuit of South Africa’s development objectives.

As part of the Presidency, the Cabinet Office provides strategic and policy support to the Cabinet.

It implements administrative systems and processes to ensure the overall optimal functioning of Cabinet and its committees.

It also facilitates the decision-making processes of the Cabinet and its committees.

Baleni succeeds Dr Cassius Lubisi who retired in September 2020 after a decade as director-general in the Presidency and secretary of Cabinet.

She is also an admitted attorney and conveyancer who holds a B. Proc and an LLB from the University of the Witwatersrand.

She was appointed legal advisor to the then Gauteng MEC of Housing and Local Government from 1994 to 1996.

In 1996, she joined the City of Johannesburg where she played a strategic role in strategic planning, high-level project management and the development of local-government policy.

She later joined Electricity Distribution Industry (EDI) Holdings as chief executive and was instrumental in the establishment of regional electricity distributors (REDs) in the country.

In April 2011, she was appointed chief executive of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) – a position she held until she became director-general in the office of the premier in Gauteng.

She has served on the boards of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Seta (MERSETA), the CSIR as well as the council of Wits University.

Ramaphosa wished Baleni well in her new position and has expressed his appreciation to Lusanda Mxenge who had been acting director-general of the Presidency for several months.

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