Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle points to the rise of Malusi Gigaba

Ujuh Correspondent

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma wielded his axe in a cabinet reshuffle that saw replacement of 10 ministers and 10 deputy ministers. One key takeout from Zuma’s move is the rise of Malusi Gigaba who emerges as the  new finance minister, making him the most powerful minister after the president.

While Gigaba’s skills to run the national treasury, together with some of the agendas he comes with, are questionable the rise of his political fortunes cant be questioned.

The Gigaba factor feeds into speculation that he might just emerge as a presidential candidate to watch in the near to medium term. There is speculation that some ANCYL elements want to nominate Gigaba for ANC presidency in the elective conference scheduled for December this year. And others speak of Gigaba as a deputy in the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma ticket. The Gigaba factor is seen as a powerful element that could distabilise the Economic Freedom Fighters’ youthful march. And Gigaba’s youthful image, and his relative reason, is seen as potential neutraliser against the Cyril Ramaphosa ticket.

The 46 years old former ANCYL President, Gigaba,  has a colourful political career that may be dented by his close relationship with the controversial Gupta family. And his KwaZulu-Natal origins places him closer to Zuma’s power base.

Gigaba was first elected to the National Assembly in 1999 under the Thabo Mbeki presidency and he became one of the most enthusiastic Mbeki men. He was appointed the deputy minister of home affairs in 2004. He turned into a Zuma after Mbeki was fired in 2008 and became the minister of public enterprises in 2009 . He was moved to become the minister of home affairs in 2014.

He moves into the national treasury from the ministry of home affairs and has also served as the minister of public enterprises. Gigaba holds a Bachelor of Pedagogics from the University of Durban-Westville and a Master of Arts degree in Social Policy, majoring in Urban Affairs and Policy.

Here follows the full statement issued by the Presidency last night:

I have decided to make changes to the National Executive in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

The changes bring some younger MPs and women into the National Executive in order to benefit from their energy, experience and expertise.

I have directed the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers to work tirelessly with their colleagues to bring about radical socio-economic transformation and to ensure that the promise of a better life for the poor and the working class becomes a reality.

The new members are the following;

Ministers
1. Minister of Energy, Ms Mmamoloko “Nkhensani” Kubayi
2. Minister of Transport, Mr Joe Maswanganyi
3. Minister of Finance, Mr Malusi Gigaba
4. Minister of Police, Mr Fikile Mbalula
5. Minister of Public Works, Mr Nathi Nhleko,
6. Minister of Sports and Recreation, Mr Thembelani Nxesi
7. Minister of Tourism, Ms Tokozile Xasa
8. Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Faith Muthambi
9. Minister of Home Affairs, Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize
10. Minister of Communications, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo

Deputy Ministers
1. Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba
2. Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Sifiso Buthelezi
3. Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Ben Martins
4. Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms Maggie Sotyu
5. Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Gratitude Magwanishe
6. Deputy Minister of Communications, Ms Thandi Mahambehlala,
7. Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe
8. Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Bongani Mkongi
9. Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
10. Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Nomathemba November.

I wish to extend my gratitude to the outgoing Ministers and Deputy Ministers for their service to the country. I also wish the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers the best in their new responsibilities.

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