Transcript Copy: Media Briefing by President Jacob Zuma, Media Centre, Union Buildings, Pretoria, Sunday 10 May 2009

Members of the media,

Good afternoon and thank you for joining us.

Before I begin I would like to offer the sincere condolences of the government and myself to the family of a member of the National Assembly from Mpumalanga, Mrs Shoba who collapsed and passed on yesterday following the inauguration.  We convey our sincere condolences to the members of her family.

We have since the launch of the ANC Manifesto indicated the type of new administration we envisaged in terms of size, shape and political focus.

We wanted a structure that would enable us to achieve visible and tangible socio-economic development within the next five years.
It should be a structure which would enable us to effectively implement our policies.

The structure of Cabinet and national departments has therefore been re-organised to achieve better alignment between the structure, our electoral mandate as per our election Manifesto, and the developmental challenges that need to receive immediate attention from government.

In summary, some of the changes in the structure of government are the following:

Following extensive research on international models on how governments in other parts of the world plan and monitor performance, we have decided to establish a National Planning Commission which will be based in the Presidency.

The NPC will be responsible for strategic planning for the country to ensure one National Plan to which all spheres of government would adhere.

This would enable us to take a more comprehensive view of socio-economic development in the country.
We have also created a monitoring and evaluation competency in the Presidency, to monitor and evaluate the performance of government in all three spheres. 

There will therefore be two Ministers in the Presidency, one responsible for the NPC and the other for Monitoring and Evaluation as well as administration in the Presidency.

Other changes are the following:

  • The Department of Minerals and Energy will be split into two separate departments of Mining and of Energy, each with a Minister.
  • The Department of Education will be split into separate Ministries, one for Basic Education and the other for Higher Education and Training.
  • The Department of Housing will be called the Department of Human Settlements to take on a more holistic focus.
  • There will be a new department of Rural Development and Land Affairs, which are part of our key priorities for the next five years.
  • The Department of Water affairs and Forestry becomes the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs.
  • A new Department of Economic Development has been established to focus on economic policymaking. The implementation functions will remain with the Department of Trade and Industry.
  • A new department of Tourism has been created.
  • Agriculture becomes Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
  • The Department of Provincial and Local Government becomes Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
  • A new Ministry has been created for Women, Youth, Children and People with Disability, to emphasise the need for equity and access to development opportunities for the vulnerable groups in our society.

The Cabinet that will fulfill our objectives is composed as follows:

The Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa will be Mr Kgalema Petros Motlanthe.

The rest of Cabinet in alphabetical order is as follows:


Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Tina Joemat-Peterson

Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Dr Pieter Mulder


Minister of Arts and Culture

Lulu Xingwana

Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture

Paul Mashatile


Minister of Basic Education

Angie Motshekga

Deputy Minister of Basic Education

Enver Surty


Minister of Communications

Siphiwe Nyanda

Deputy Minister of Communications

Dina Pule


Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

Sicelo Shiceka

Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

Yunus Carrim


Minister of Correctional Services

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

Deputy Minister of Correctional Services

Hlengiwe Mkhize


Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

Lindiwe Sisulu

Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

Thabang Makwetla


Minister of Economic Development

Ebrahim Patel

Deputy Minister of Economic Development

Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde


Minister of Energy

Dipuo Peters


Minister  of Finance

Pravin Gordhan

Deputy Minister  of Finance

Nhlanhla Nene


Minister of Health

Dr Aaron Motsoaledi

Deputy Minister of Health

Dr Molefi Sefularo


Minister of Higher Education and Training

Dr Blade Nzimande


Minister of Home Affairs

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs

Malusi Gigaba


Minister of Human Settlements

Tokyo Sexwale

Deputy Minister of Human Settlements

Zou Kota


Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (1)

Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim

Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (2)

Sue van der Merwe


Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development

Jeff Radebe

Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development

Andries Nel


Minister of Labour

Membathisi Mdladlana


Minister of Mining

Susan Shabangu


Minister of Police

Nathi Mthethwa

Deputy Minister of Police

Fikile Mbalula


Minister of Public Enterprises

Barbara Hogan

Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises

Enoch Godongwana


Minister for the Public Service and Administration

Richard Baloyi

Deputy Minister for the Public Service and Administration

Roy Padayachie


Minister of Public Works

Geoff Doidge

Deputy Minister of Public Works

Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu


Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform

Gugile Nkwinti

Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform

Dr Joe Phaahla


Minister of Science and Technology

Naledi Pandor

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology

Derek Hanekom


Minister of Social Development

Edna Molewa

Deputy Minister of Social Development

Bathabile Dlamini


Minister of Sport and Recreation

Makhenkesi Stofile

Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation

Gert Oosthuizen


Minister of State Security

Siyabonga Cwele


Minister in The Presidency (1)
National Planning Commission

Trevor Manuel


Minister in The Presidency (2)
Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration in the Presidency

Collins Chabane


Minister of Tourism

Marthinus van Schalkwyk

Deputy Minister of Tourism

Thozile Xasa


Minister of Trade and Industry

Rob Davies

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry (1)

Thandi Tobias

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry (2)

Maria Ntuli


Minister of Transport 

Sbusiso Joel Ndebele

Deputy Minister of Transport

Jeremy Cronin


Minister of Water and Environmental  Affairs

Buyelwa Sonjica

Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental  Affairs

Rejoice Mabhudafhasi


Minister of Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities

Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya

We stated clearly during the campaign that we want an efficient, caring and effective administration, which will be accessible and responsive to the needs of the people.

We reiterate that we will not tolerate laziness and incompetence, and that we will emphasise excellence and achievement from the Cabinet and the public service.

With these objectives in mind, I am confident that the new structure of government will enable the state machinery to speed up service delivery. 

Civil servants will not lose their jobs as a result of these changes. This is a matter of principle in terms of the country’s labour relations dispensation.

I however want to stress to our public servants that the era of hard work has begun. Public servants who do their work diligently and efficiently have nothing to worry about.

I wish the new team all the best with their responsibilities.

We request the South African public and all key sectors of our society to support them in their national service.

Let me also take this opportunity to wish all South African mothers well on Mother’s Day today.

Mothers are the backbones of our families, communities and our nation.  We truly appreciate their role in our society, in both the public sphere and within families.

Ladies and gentlemen, as a parting shot – what we are doing is consistent with what we have been saying – having adopted the manifesto and having said we wanted an efficient government machinery that can deliver, having said many thing in that direction, I think it was inevitable to look at the machinery of government.  What can we do to try to improve?  I have been saying we have had an opportunity to evaluate our track record since 1994 – in hindsight it is easy to say we should have done it like this.  This is part of that general trend – to say we need a machinery that is going to be effective in addition to which we are going to need warm bodies that are going to be effective.  We cannot perfect, we cannot be perfect from the word go but I think that given that the ANC has been in power for 15 years now, we do have a measure of experience that we are going to utilize.  Perhaps the very adjustments we are now making is borne of that same experience.  So, I am sure we should look at this from this point of view.  We hope that what we have identified as things we need to do are in fact will be agreed with as they evolve.  I am making this point so you can appreciate what we are doing and more than anything we would want the views to be very constructive – if you as a South African have a better idea of how it can be done, we will appreciate such input so that the state machinery can improve the quality of lives for our people and improve the state machinery.  So that government can move forward for the better.

I thank you.

Questions and answers

Question Mr President, what reaction do you anticipate from the financial markets following the change of Minister?  Can we expect any major changes of economic policy?

Answer Well, I cannot predict the markets and I am not certain there are people who can easily do so.  I think the markets react on a number of issues that happen in the world, not just cabinet appointments depending on how the markets feel and what is the movement.  I would imagine that also, I don’t think that someone can say because of those concerns countries have finance ministers for ever.  I don’t think so.  I think markets are aware of this – change comes at some point.  I am sure, if you wanted my prediction, that the markets will react very positively, very normally.  There is not going to be any mishap.  But as I said, who can predict the markets? 

As you have heard, we are looking at the national plan in the first instance.  We are also looking at the establishment of the Ministry of Economic Affairs which is going to have an emphasis on policy.  I think it will not be correct to pre-empt these matters because these are matters we are going to put on the table and debate – policies will then be formulated.  I think I am going to be jumping the gun if I answered this question categorically.  As you know, in matters of this nature issues are put on the table and a discussion is had following which final correct conclusions are made.  I am sure that by making these kinds of changes we are in fact creating a platform on which these debates can be had and agreement sought.

Question Mr President, in terms of ensuring that there is synergy in the three spheres of government – last week we saw some provinces announcing their executive councils and when I look at the changes, the realignment of provinces may be a problem because there have already been appointments – how will you deal with this?  Secondly, how will you ensure there is no confusion in terms of the transition as we saw last year – how will you deal with the entry of the Deputy President?

Answer Of course you will realise that some provinces have moved ahead.  They have not necessarily waited and that is because of differences in the constitution – what different of spheres of government do.  I think the very fact that we have introduced the issue means that not this time as we have been moving in, but we are going to engage on the issues including, for example, the issue of the national plan.  We believe that every sphere of government should talk to the national plan in whatever they do so that we do not do many things in one country that amount to different things in different directions.  So, I think this is going to arise as we move forward – ie. the interaction of different spheres of government begin to take place taking into account what is happening right now.

On the second matter, I am sure you are not necessarily saying that the issue is going to be arising all the time wherein you need to take decisions about the Deputy President but if it repeated itself I am sure the ANC will know what to do.  We will take the right decision because even at that point we took the correct decision.  I think what people should have taken into account is respect to the authority in the ANC that you couldn’t, if you did not have a President at that point in time, move away and look for someone else when there is a Deputy President to the President of the ANC if the President of the ANC was not the one to take the position.  So we are not talking about moving away and looking for someone else.  We are talking about really dealing with the authority as it stands which reflects the confidence of the people because to become a Deputy President of the ANC means you are the number 2 of the ANC and you couldn’t disagree with what the ANC says and take just an ordinary NEC member.  I think that would call for more questions than what we did.  So, I don’t think that situation will arise but in life we cannot say that will not arise and if they did, the ANC will always take the correct decision at the right time.

Question Mr President, is the Ministry of International Relations the same as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?  The choice of Minister seems quite strange given her background.  I do know that she was the High Commissioner in India but besides that she has maintained a fairly low profile.  She has been an MEC in Limpopo and has not had much exposure in terms of Foreign Affairs.  Also, what has Barbara Hogan done to not be reappointed?  The choice of Health Minister has been an MEC of Education – could you explain your choice?

Answer Yes, the Department of International Relations is the same of that of Foreign Affairs.  I don’t know why the choice of Minister is strange – it may be strange in your mind of course.  I have no quarrel with that but to us the choice is not strange and if I answered you I would be agreeing with you that this is a strange choice.  The choice is not strange.  I think it is your view that the choice is strange.  This is a cadre of the movement, a leader of the movement who has been in the province, in the NEC for quite a while and the ANC knows the strengths of this particular comrade and her work in the international affairs arena.  She has been involved with international affairs even when she was not an ambassador. She has never left the arena.  So to us, the choice is not strange.

I am sure that both comrade Barbara Hogan and comrade Motsoaledi is the same thing.  These are capable comrades who are here to be deployed to deal with matters we believe should be given very strong focus – I think people will agree that Public Enterprises requires very strong focus so we will take a cadre we believe can deal with that as well as Health.  Motsoaledi is a well known doctor who has handled this Department at a provincial level in the past – he is a very energetic and able comrade so I don’t think you should be very worried because you will then have to answer questions about each and every appointment that has been made.

Question Mr President, one of the criticisms that was made about Trevor Manuel was that he was too powerful as Minister of Finance.  You have now made him the Minister of the National Planning Commission without economic planning.  Was that a way of limiting his power?

Answer No, by taking away as you put it economic power from Manuel, this is not a way of limiting his power.  I think Comrade Trevor Manuel is being given a new structure, a very powerful structure that is going to work out a national plan of government.  I am not certain how that structure is not powerful to any comrade.  So, it is not.  The word powerful person – I think a glance at Finance Ministers around the world will tell you they are generally stronger because they deal with the budget.  There is nothing extraordinary about Comrade Trevor.  You can go to any country – Finance Ministers by virtue of their task are very powerful.  I know there is a lot of talk.  You should not confuse your own talk with ours because that is what you always put across.  We believe that Comrade Trevor has the experience – if you wanted a Comrade or a Minister to really participate in the drawing up of the National Plan you would say that Manuel is one because his very handling of the finances has empowered him to understand government very well.  If you want to have a plan you will not go to someone you are not certain of.  I think Manuel understands government very well and therefore he has been given that task.  There is nothing else besides he has been given a task to undertake.  He is very effective and we believe that Trevor Manuel will execute his new mandate with flying colours and that is what we want.

Question Mr President, I wonder if you could elaborate on the thinking behind changing the name of the Department of Foreign Affairs to International Relations and the Ministry of Police?  In terms of splitting the Department of Environmental Affairs and coupling it with that of water – where will that leave the decisions over mining?

Answer Well, changing of names – in the first instance they were given names – what were the reasons?  Change is change and at times change comes about.  If we said Foreign Affairs is Foreign Affairs we understood what it meant.  And if we are saying it is now international relations there is nothing wrong with it unless you are saying there is something wrong with this name compared to the first one.  Someone might say that this one talks to what foreign affairs is all about – foreign relations and co-operation.  That is what it is.  So, I don’t think it raises any anxiety.  With the police, it is as good as we said with Safety and Security – what informed us?  We wanted safety and security but basically that means policing.  What we have done is returned to policing which is a standard thing throughout the world – policing is policing.  So we now have a Minister of Police.  So, there is nothing extraordinary.  We wanted to return to that standard name that is used generally for this department.

Question Mr President, can you explain your decision to appoint Peter Mulder as the Deputy Minister of Agriculture?

Answer Well, Pieter Mulder is a South African who belongs to a certain political party and we said all the time in the ANC that we are very embracive in terms of co-operating with other political parties.  This is not the first time we have had other political parties working with us.  I don’t think there was ever a question that was asked – in fact, not one political party but quite a few.  The same reasons apply here.  And I am sure that those appointments that were made by the former President Thabo Mbeki – not because it was Thabo Mbeki doing it on his own but because it was the approach of the ANC in terms of how to co-operate as an organisation with other political parties.  This is a similar situation that has informed this appointment and I think it is good for the country.

Question Mr President, you have mentioned empowering Deputy Ministers and the Deputy President – how soon will this happen?  You also mentioned that civil servants should not be concerned but a change of leadership always implies some conflict.  Will you ask your Ministers to not let personalities get in the way?

Answer The issue of Ministers, Deputy Ministers and DGs, let me say that when I say civil servants should not worry, I think it is important to say it because changes and adjustments always brings anxiety to those who are part of the structures.  I was making the point that we will deal with this matter responsibly.  The issue of the Ministers and Deputy Ministers – I am sure part of the reasons Collins would have said there is some work done is probably because of the experience that sometimes, not always, that this happens sometimes merely as the result of personality clashes.  To avoid this there will be a need to work out specific tasks that some Ministers and Deputy Ministers will have to undertake so that there isn’t a situation that there is Deputy Minister that is not very certain about what he or she is doing.  This is question of helping to make the situation better.  Experience always helps us to do things differently.  I would not like there to be the impression that there is a constant war between Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

Question Mr President, who makes economic policy – the Minister of Economic Planning or the Planning Commission?  Could you explain to us the process of how you assembled your cabinet – I understand there were very extensive discussions and consultations?

Answer We said the Planning Commission deals with the National Plan – not with only one thing – the national plan that is all encompassing so that the country has a national plan that guides government in whatever sphere.  That commission must produce a policy that this is what we will do nationally.  It is not going to exclude economic matters.  Why should it because it is dealing with everything but we are saying the economic ministry is very specialised and will deal with economics.  That is the difference.  This is where economic policy will be generated.  This is informed by the fact that at times economic activities take place in different departments and you end up with many forms of economic policies and at times people may say different things because there is a different priority at that time.

On the second matter, that process is an internal ANC process.  I am sure you were really trying your luck.  It is an internal process and a very important one.  Consultation was there.  I think it is important to consult.

Question Mr President, you have consistently outlined the challenges and priorities facing you – now that you are in government, what will be the first thing you will tackle?

Answer I don’t think I should say that the first thing I will do is drink my rooibos tea because I don’t think you could say that.  We are in the process of establishing a new administration after elections.  I think that will be the major thing – how can we assist in settling this, making it move.  I think that the first thing we, together with the heads of department will do, is to supervise this process, to ensure this process takes off appropriately and according to plan.  If we singled out one thing then I would say my rooibos tea, honey and lemon.

Issued by Presidency
Private Bag X1000

10 May 2009

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