If President Thabo Mbeki is the CEO of SA Inc, the new cabinet announced on Wednesday can be seen as his board of directors. A feature is an attempt to inject fresh energy into government departments responsible for delivery.
Here is a full list of South Africa's new ministers, and a look at their credentials:
Essop Pahad, 65
He has been a confidant of Mbeki since the sixties and was Mbeki's parliamentary counsellor between 1994 and 1996.
When Mandela reshuffled his cabinet in 1996, Mbeki recalled Pahad to his office as deputy minister in the deputy president's office. When Mbeki became president in 1999 he elevated Pahad's position to minister in the presidency.
She retains the ministry she has held since 1999. She was chairperson of the SABC board. She became South Africa's first woman premier when she was appointed to the position in the Free State in 1997. Matsepe-Casaburri worked for the United Nations Institute for Namibia based in Zambia until her return to South Africa. She was the first woman to be appointed to the board of the CSIR.
Arts and Culture
Pallo Jordan, 62
A former African Nationl Congress spokesperson in exile, Jordan's return to the cabinet has been welcomed by many. He was minister of posts, telecommunications and broadcasting and then of environmental affairs and tourism in Nelson Mandela's cabinet between 1994 and1999. He is recognised as one of the foremost intellectuals in the ANC.
Ngconde Balfour, 50
Previously the minister of sport and recreation, Balfour's move to correctional services is a surprise. A former school principal, Balfour also served on the portfolio committees on foreign affairs, public accounts, and sport and recreation. He was a member of the team that made a bid for the 2004 Olympic Games.
Mosiuoa Lekota, 56
Imprisoned on Robben Island for his political activities and a prominent leader of the United Democratic Front in the eighties. Lekota, national chairperson of the ANC, was the first premier of the Free State. He was chairperson of the National Council of Provinces from February 1997-1999.
Environment and Tourism
Marthinus van Schalkwyk, 45
A former political science lecturer at Rand Afrikaans University and Stellenbosch University in the late 1980s. He led the National Party's media unit from 1990 and became the party's executive director and leader in 1997. He led the New National Party into a coalition agreement with the Democratic Alliance and later with the ANC. He was premier of the Western Cape before being appointed to cabinet.
Trevor Manuel, 48
A civil engineer by training, Manuel, revered for his activism at a time it was not fashionable, has won high praise since taking over the country's finances. Appointed head of ANC Economic Planning in 1991, from which position he influenced the policies of the movement, Manuel is considered a star performer in the government - for good reason.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, 55
A hugely popular leader in the ANC, and Mbeki's ace in the cabinet, Dlamini-Zuma is tipped for greatness in the future. She was the minister of health in Mandela's cabinet from 1994 to 1999. She is a prominent member of the ANC Women's League.
Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, 64
The controversial minister is a former exile who worked on health-related matters while out of the country. This included research on the health of children of ANC leaders in Lusaka. Tshabalala-Msimang became deputy minister of justice in 1996-99 and then minister of health.
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, 48
The ANC Women's League president is a former exile, who underwent military training in Angola and the Soviet Union in 1984. She has been a deputy to sacked home affairs minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi. A former teacher and activist, Mapisa-Nqakula is currently studying psychology.
Lindiwe Sisulu, 50
The daughter of ANC veteran Walter Sisulu, she was detained in 1975 for her role in the struggle but skipped the country on her release. She underwent military training, specialising in intelligence. She was an ordinary MP in Mandela's parliament but became intelligence minister in 1999. She holds an MPhil from the University of York.
Ronnie Kasrils, 66
Known as a film scriptwriter to some, Kasrils is a former member of the MK High Command in Lusaka and ANC Politico-Military Council. He was trained in the USSR to the level of brigadier, specialising in military intelligence. He served the ANC in London, Maputo, Luanda, Swaziland, Botswana and Lusaka.
Brigitte Mabandla, 56
A former member of the ANC constitution-making committee and negotiating team between 1990-94, Mabandla served the ANC in Lusaka as legal adviser of the party's legal and constitutional affairs department. She served as deputy arts, culture, science and technology minister before becoming housing minister two years ago.
Membathisi Mdladlana, 48
He took over from Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni in 1998. He has since retained the labour portfolio in the Mbeki administration. In 1994 he was a member of the national portfolio committee on education. He shot to prominence in the teachers' labour movement when he was appointed the president of the South African Democratic Teachers' Union in 1990.
Minerals and Energy
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, 49
She has been retained in the portfolio she has held since 1999. Previously, she served as chairperson of the public works portfolio committee. She is an ANC NEC member and was involved in international developmental organisations in Geneva and local non-governmental organisations.
Sydney Mufamadi, 45
He was the first safety and security minister in the Mandela cabinet. He was appointed to his current portfolio in 1999. He is on the national working committee and national executive committee of the ANC. The former unionist and SACP heavyweight holds a master's degree from the University of London and is currently working on a PhD.
Alec Erwin, 56
He was deputy minister of finance between 1994 and 1996. He was elevated to the ministry of trade and industry when Mandela reshuffled his cabinet. Mbeki retained him in 1999. He is a former general secretary of the Federation of South African Trade Unions. He holds a B Econ Honours degree from the University of Natal.
Agriculture and Land Affairs
Thoko Didiza, 38
She was deputy minister of agriculture between 1994 and 1999. Mbeki appointed her a full minister for the portfolio in 1999. She has been a member of the ANC national executive committee and national working committee since 1997.
Stella Sigcau, 67
She was appointed by Nelson Mandela as public enterprises minister in 1994. Mbeki moved her to the current position of Public Works in 1999.
She was formerly involved in Transkeian homeland politics, serving as the home affairs minister and later became the bantustan's third prime minister in 1987.
Science and Technology
Mosibudi Mangena, 57
He has been moved from the education department where he was deputy minister since 2001. He was appointed by Mbeki for his knowledge and passion for mathematics. He holds an MSc degree in applied mathematics. Mangena was elected president of Azapo in 1994 after leading the organisation in exile in Botswana from 1982.
Safety and Security
Charles Nqakula, 62
He was appointed after the death of former safety and security minister Steve Tshwete in 2002. He was formerly deputy minister of home affairs between 2001 and 2002. He was elected secretary-general of the SACP after the assassination of Chris Hani. He is a member of the ANC'snational executive committee.
Zola Skweyiya, 62
He was appointed minister of public service and administration in 1994 and was appointed by Mbeki in 1999 to his current position. He holds an LlD from the University of Leipzig. His political career includes joining Umkhonto weSizwe in exile, and he was part of the ANC negotiation commission on his return to South Africa.]
Trade and Industry
Mandisi Mpahlwa, 44
He has been deputy finance minister since 1999. He did voluntary work for the ANC both in exile and in South Africa. Mpahlwa was employed by the ANC as a regional elections co-ordinator for the Transkei region between April 1993 and April 1994.
Jeff Radebe, 51
He became minister of public works in 1994 and was moved to public enterprises in 1999. He is a member of the ANC national executive committee and national working committee. He joined the underground structures of the ANC during the student uprisings of 1976. Left for Mozambique the following year and underwent military training with Umkhonto weSizwe.
Water and Forestry
Buyelwa Sonjica, 54
She has been deputy minister of arts, culture, science and technology since February 2003 when Ben Ngubane was appointed ambassador to Japan. She was ANC whip between 1994 and 1999 and chairperson of the select committee on child care facilities in 1995. She also served in the portfolio committees on finance, trade and industry and water affairs and forestry.
Naledi Pandor, 51
Pandor replaces Kader Asmal. She was thrown in at the deep end as first chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, having to set up the institution created by the 1996 constitution. She is the daughter of political stalwart Joe Matthews, who recently retired as an Inkatha deputy minister. Pandor was the first woman chancellor of the Cape Technikon.
Jacob Zuma, 62
ANC heavyweight in KwaZulu-Natal and ANC premier candidate until appointed MEC for economic affairs and tourism in 1994. The former ANC deputy secretary-general and chair was elected deputy president of the ANC in 1997. Zuma became deputy president of the country in 1999. He led the ANC delegation in the first round of talks with the NP government in 1990.
Makhenkesi Stofile, 60
A veteran ANC activist in the Eastern Cape. His big break came in 1994 when he was elected as ANC chief whip in parliament. He was promoted in 1995 to premier of the Eastern Cape, replacing Raymond Mhlaba. He is a member of the ANC national executive committee. A clergyman, he was prominent in the nonracial sports movement of the seventies and eighties.
Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, 44
She was deputy minister of social welfare and population development between 1995 and 1999. She has been public service and administration minister in the Mbeki cabinet from 1999. She is a senior SACP member and was in exile in Zimbabwe for 10 years before returning to the country in 1990.