Fellow South Africans, Today, I am announcing a number of changes to the National Executive. The purpose of these changes is to ensure that government is properly capacitated and directed to give effect to the commitments made in the State of the Nation Address and the Budget Speech. We have said that the people of South Africa want action, they want solutions and they want government to work for them.
All members of the Executive have been directed to focus on those agreed actions that will make a meaningful difference now, that will enable real progress within the next year and that will lay a foundation for a sustained recovery into the future. All parts of government are focused on addressing those issues that concern South Africans the most: load shedding, unemployment, poverty and the rising cost of living, and crime and corruption.
There has been some concern expressed by South Africans about the amount of time it has taken to finalise these changes to the Executive. This delay is the result of a number of processes that needed to be followed, some of which relate to the requirements of the Constitution relating to the appointment of members of the National Executive.
The President appoints the Deputy President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers from among members of the National Assembly. The President may appoint no more than two Ministers and two Deputy Ministers from outside the National Assembly. Understanding that just over one year remains in the term of this 6th administration, these changes are not about overhauling the National Executive.
The changes that I am announcing now are intended to fill vacancies that have occurred in the Executive and to direct government more effectively towards the areas that require urgent and decisive action.
I have sought to balance the need for new skills and capabilities to drive the agenda that we outlined in the State of the Nation Address with the important task of ensuring stability and continuity in the work of government. In the course of attending to current challenges, we are establishing two new ministries. The first of these is the Minister for Electricity to deal with the immediate crisis of load shedding.
The second is the Minister with specific responsibility for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation to focus greater attention on the performance of government. While this will result in an increase in the number of ministries in the short term, as indicated in the State of the Nation Address, I have instructed the Presidency and National Treasury to develop a proposal to rationalise government departments, entities and programmes to ensure greater efficiency.
This work, which will result in the reduction of the number of Ministries, will inform the configuration of government going into the next administration. We said in the State of the Nation Address that our most immediate task is to dramatically reduce the severity of load shedding in the coming months and ultimately end load shedding altogether. Our focus is on the full and urgent implementation of the Energy Action Plan. As government, Eskom and other stakeholders, we remain committed to that plan.
I am therefore announcing the appointment of a Minister in the Presidency responsible for resolving the electricity crisis.
The primary task of the new Minister will be to significantly reduce the severity and frequency of load shedding as a matter of urgency. To effectively oversee the electricity crisis response, the appointed Minister will have political responsibility, authority and control over all critical aspects of the Energy Action Plan.
This will help to deal with the challenge of fragmentation of responsibility across various departments and Ministers which, while appropriate under normal circumstances, is not conducive to a crisis response. The Minister will be expected to facilitate the coordination of the numerous departments and entities involved in the crisis response, work with the Eskom leadership to turn around the performance of existing power stations, and accelerate the procurement of new generation capacity.
To enable the Minister to do this work, I will, in terms of section 97 of the Constitution, transfer to them certain powers and functions contained in relevant legislation. In the State of the Nation Address, I announced that a national state of disaster had been declared to respond to the electricity crisis and its social and economic impact.
The recently published disaster regulations empower the Minister of Electricity to issue directions to, among others, exclude critical facilities from load shedding where technically feasible; expedite various regulatory processes for energy projects; and enable Eskom to undertake critical maintenance more quickly and efficiently.
The Minister in the Presidency for Electricity will liaise with other relevant Ministers to ensure coherence in the issuing of other directions during the national state of disaster.
The Minister in the Presidency for Electricity will remain in office only for as long as it is necessary to resolve the electricity crisis. As I indicated in my reply to the State of the Nation Debate on the 16th of February, Deputy President David Mabuza asked to step down from that position.
I am grateful for his support over the five years of his tenure and for his dedicated service to the government and people of South Africa. I have decided to appoint Mr Paul Mashatile as Deputy President of Republic.
With respect to Ministers, I am making the following appointments:
Minister in the Presidency, Ms Khumbudzo Ntshavheni
Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Ms Maropene Ramokgopa
Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa
Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Mr Mondli Gungubele
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Ms Thembi Nkadimeng
Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Noxolo Kiviet
Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Mr Sihle Zikalala
Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr Zizi Kodwa
Minister of Tourism, Ms Patricia de Lille
Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga.
With respect to Deputy Ministers, I am making the following appointments:
Deputy Ministers in the Presidency, Ms Nomasonto Motaung and Mr Kenneth Morolong
Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Ms Sisisi Tolashe,
Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Ms Pinky Kekana
There will be two Deputy Ministers for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Parks Tau and Mr Zolile Burns-Ncamashe.
There will be two Deputy Ministers for Water and Sanitation, Mr David Mahlobo and Ms Judith Tshabalala, – Deputy Minister of Public Works, Ms Bernice Swarts, – Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Dipuo Peters, – Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Obed Bapela, – Deputy Minister of Transport, Mr Lisa Mangcu.
I wish to extend my appreciation to all outgoing Ministers and Deputy Ministers for their service to this administration and to the country. I have instructed both new and existing members of Cabinet to act with speed and urgency to address the challenges that our country faces.
I expect them to fulfil their tasks with rigour and dedication, to adopt a zero tolerance approach to corruption wherever it exists, and to place the interests of the people of South Africa foremost in the work that they do.
This is the standard that I will hold them to,and I have full confidence that they will meet it. We must waste no time and spare no effort in restoring the promise of South Africa. I thank you.
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