There were some major plot-twists in the reshuffle last night. It’s smaller, gender-balanced and full of surprises. So here’s our breakdown of the most interesting changes in President Ramaphosa’s 2019 cabinet.
1. The Aunty Pat Plot-Twist
I don’t think anyone saw this coming. It’s Minister Patricia de Lille to you now, thank you so very much. Yes, the president appointed an opposition party leader. Aunty Pat is the only non-ANC minister in the cabinet.
Patricia de Lille recently broke up with DA. She then started her own party, The GOOD Party, which ran for the first time this year. She is now the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure.
Aunty Pat turned a 4-month old party into 2 seats in Parly and a ministry! A master. A legend. A leader. So out of the blue. pic.twitter.com/oiai7jx2ER
— Jarita Kassen (@jareater) May 29, 2019
As we know, Aunty Pat has beeeen in the game. As a politician, she dates all the way back to her days in the PAC and ID. The TL was lit last night with Aunty Pat tweets. and they are hilarious:
Patricia De Lille walking past DA members on her way to fulfill her duties as the new Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure
— Ms Adams (@LittleMzMercy) May 29, 2019
This is what she has to say, according to the Mail&Guardian :
“I pledged GOOD’s constructive support for turning South Africa around. This support we will wholeheartedly give… I am deeply honoured and humbled to have received the call to serve as a Minister of South Africa’s new cabinet.’ – Minister Patricia De Lille.
That Patricia De Lille Ministerial position announcement was a better plot twist than the entire last season of Game of Thrones. #CabinetAnnouncement
— Abdul Hamid Carrim (@baymath) May 29, 2019
‘It is time for South Africans to demonstrate that we can rise above party political differences,’ says De Lille.
2. It’s Smaller and Includes Women
The cabinet has had liposuction. There are 8 ministers less and fewer departments. South Africa previously had one of the largest cabinets in the world. So this trim-down is significant. Various departments have merged and we’ve gone from 36 to 28 ministers.
What does this mean for you? Well, if you pay tax (pay your taxes, people!), it means there are fewer politicians’ salaries to pay. Cutting down on ministers’ salaries alone means an annual saving of more than R21 million, reports News24
We also have A LOT MORE WOMEN in the South African cabinet now. This is amazing news for representation and equality. It also ranks pretty high on a global scale:
South Africa becomes one of 11 countries globally with gender-balanced cabinets:
6. Costa Rica
11. South Africa #sabcnews
— Sherwin Bryce-Pease (@sherwiebp) May 29, 2019
— Matshidiso Madia (@tshidi_lee) May 29, 2019
3. So, MABUZA Stayed After All
Many people thought (and analysts predicted) that we’d seen the last of Deputy President David Mabuza. Kanti, he’s still very much outchea. He simply delayed being sworn into parliament to “clear his name” and fight corruption charges. Not a good look.
Mabuza was is a bit of a shocker. He has been linked to past scandals. So the decision to keep him is questionable. Looking at you, Mr President!
People were so convinced we’d have a new deputy president, they predicted names like Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Naledi Pandor and Lindiwe Sisulu.
What is he earning? Oh, like R2.83 million, according to News24.
Other ministers who kept their positions are Pravin Gordhan (Minister of Public Enterprises) and Tito Mboweni (Minister of Finance). They don’t seem to going anywhere either.
4. Minister Naledi Pandor, YAS!
Naledi Pandor has been making moves against gender-based violence. She recently appointed a task team to tackle sexual harassment on university campuses. We see you!
This was such a good move from her as the Minister of Higher Education. Her stint in that position was largely applauded. She’s now the Minister of International Relations (which is basically Foreign Affairs).
Naledi Pandor – what a win!!!!!!!!!!! SA has a new Minister of International Relations, she is Dr @NalediPandor. A capable, humble, worldly and smart woman. I hope she can elevate the role & amplify the voice of SA in a new era of developing world diplomacy. I wish her well🌍
— Lerato Mbele (@Mbele_Roberts) May 29, 2019
5. Blade Nzimande. WHY?
If you remember #FeesMustFall, this appointment might disturb tf out of you. Blade Nzimande is once again the Minister Of Higher Education (and Science and Tech). You may remember him from when he was criticised heavily by the protesting students:
After all the pain that he has put us through during FeesMustFall protests, I am extremely saddened that Cyril found it appropriate to appoint Blade Nzimande back into Higher Education. I feel personally insulted.
Where is this New Dawn??? 😔
— uShemeni Wodumo (@uNtandoSindane) May 29, 2019
Note the sarcasm:
Blade still Minister of Higher Education (And now Science And Technology). Clearly all his mishaps during all the years of Fees Must Fall amounted to nothing punitive. Makes sense. 👍👍 #CabinetAnnouncement
— Abdul Hamid Carrim (@baymath) May 29, 2019
6. A New Face Giving Us Hope
The Department of Justice has a brand new minister. He’s young and he has two masters in Law. He is one of the few ANC voices who called for former Jacob Zuma to step down after the Nkandla saga.
Ronald Lamola has two masters in law, making him a qualified choice to lead the Ministry of Justice. Read more about his journey as the child of farm workers, to ANCYL deputy president under Julius Malema to one of the country’s youngest leaders today. https://t.co/7XK2huHeFy pic.twitter.com/4XhvJPPQob
— Verashni Pillay (@verashni) May 29, 2019
There were some serious plot twists. But overall, women are much more represented by this cabinet. Also, President Ramaphosa’s election and choices have resulted in the rand gaining 0.5% against the dollar, reports News24.
Here’s a summary of who’s out, who’s in and staying put:
Bathabile Dlamini, Michael Masutha, Nomvula Mokonyane, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba
Fikile Mbalula, Thulas Nxesi, Blade Nzimande
Patricia de Lille, Zizi Kodwa,Sdumo Dlamini, Barbara Creecy, Ronald Lamola,Jackson Mthembu
NOT GOING ANYWHERE:
DD Mabuza, Pravin Gordhan
— Karyn Maughan (@karynmaughan) May 29, 2019
And here’s the whole happy lot:
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his new Cabinet on 29 May 2019 at the Union Buildings. He has named 28 ministers and 33 deputy ministers (Photo Via EWN) pic.twitter.com/I45fJxZK4q
— ChinAfrica magazine (@chinafrica1) May 30, 2019