Hanekom thrilled with new post

Derek Hanekom says he won’t make major changes to the Science and Technology Department.

Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Derek Hanekom on Wednesday said he is looking forward to continuing with the path set by outgoing Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor.

On Wednesday, President Jacob Zuma announced that Pandor will officially take over as Home Affairs Minister on a permanent basis, while Hanekom will take over the science portfolio.

Hanekom will be sworn in at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Thursday.

Former Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma left her post to take up her new position as head of the African Union (AU).

Hanekom said he is thrilled with Wednesday's news and said he will not make major changes with the department.

"It is just a continuation of what has been very good work."

Hanekom now officially returns to Cabinet after serving as former president Nelson Mandela's Land and Agriculture Minister from 1994 to 1999.

He said it was unfair for people to say that the only reason he was promoted was because he presided over controversial politician Julius Malema's disciplinary hearing.

"There is a general atmosphere of unfairness. People see things that don't exist. There is work to be done and we are involved in different areas of work."