Ramaphosa’s dream team: 5 new Cabinet members to watch out for
The president announced his reconfigured Cabinet on Wednesday, trimming the number of ministers from 36 to 28 after combining some departments.
JOHANNESBURG – After much speculation over the composition of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new reconfigured Cabinet, the country now has a national executive consisting of new faces and some familiar faces – including young people – ready to hit the ground running.
In announcing his Cabinet, Ramaphosa said he undertook several factors into account, including experience, continuity, competence, and generational mix, among other things. The president said the new ministers would be closely monitored against specific outcomes, and action would be taken if they fail in their departments.
These are five ministers and deputies to look out for in the sixth administration:
1. David Masondo: Deputy Minister of Finance
Described as a shrewd intellectual in ANC circles, Masondo is currently a member of the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) following his election to the structure in December 2017 at the ANC’s national elective congress at Nasrec.
He's a former member of the Limpopo provincial legislature, and served for five months as the finance MEC before the province’s five departments were placed under administration in December 2011 due to governance failures.
Masondo is a former national leader in the South African Communist Party and its youth wing, the Young Communist League.
He is also a former Wits University SRC president and was appointed earlier this month by Ramaphosa as the head of the ANC’s political school, the OR Tambo School of Leadership.
2. Khumbudzo Ntshavheni: Minister of Small Business Development
Ntshavheni was the former spokesperson for the Limpopo ANC under Premier Stan Mathabatha’s leadership when he took office in 2014. She was also a member of the provincial executive committee (PEC).
In July 2015, Ntshavheni was appointed to Denel’s board by former Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown as a non-executive director.
She previously served as a spokesperson for the Mogalakwena Local Municipality in Limpopo, which was placed under administration in 2014. Ntshavheni also served as the municipal manager of Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality from 2008 to 2010.
At 19, Ntshavheni was at Rand Afrikaans University (now the University of Johannesburg) in 1996 as a law student. She matriculated at Mbilwi Secondary School in Limpopo in 1994 and stayed at Benjamin Res at UJ, where she was the head girl and the youngest as well as the only African at the time.
She loved watching the news and she was known as a great debater at conferences of the ANCYL which she joined at 13.
As a youth activist, she did a lot of charitable projects to benefit orphans of political violence in KZN with the help of the Norwegian People's Aid.
Among her controversial appointments was her role as the chief operations officer at the State Information Agency (Sita) where she was reportedly suspended in August 2013 - along with three other officials - after an independent forensic audit report into a consortium led by ICT Works was found to be irregular.
From 2006 and 2007, Ntshavheni was tourism manager at Trade and Investment Limpopo.
According to her LinkedIn profile, she holds an MBA degree from Bradford University in the UK (2008), a BA Hons Development Studies (1999) and BA Hon Labour Relations (1999) both from UJ.
- Ronald Lamola: Minister of Justice & Correctional Services
Lamola was the former ANCYL deputy president under then leader Julius Malema who got expelled in 2012 and despite being isolated from the ANC during former President Jacob Zuma’s presidency, Lamola has been described as a comeback kid in the new Cabinet.
The 36-year-old was the youngest person to be elected to the ANC’s NEC and national working committee (NWC) at Nasrec in 2017.
He grew up on a farm in the Komatipoort, Mpumalanga, and has two Master's in law and established a private law firm based in Pretoria.
Lamola serves on several boards, including the Media Development and Diversity Agency and SA Express.
- Bavelile Hlongwa: Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources & Energy
Hlongwa is an alumni of the University of KwaZulu-Natal where she obtained her BSc Chemical Engineering degree. Before being appointed to the national executive, she was the deputy executive chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency, where she was responsible for briefing the president on youth development matters.
She is a member of the NEC of the ANCYL and member of the NWC.
- Alvin Botes: Deputy Minister for International Relations and Co-operation
Botes is a former member of the Northern Cape provincial legislature, and before being deployed to the National Assembly in 2018, he was the provincial MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs. He has also served as the MEC for Social Development.
According to his LinkedIn profile, he graduated from Cape Peninsula University of Technology with a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) in business administration and management from 1995 to 1999.