Transcript copy: Media briefing by President Jacob Zuma
10 May 2009
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 fulfil 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:
1. Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries - Tina Joemat-Pettersson
Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries - Dr Pieter Mulder
2. Minister of Arts and Culture - Lulu Xingwana
Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture - Paul Mashatile
3. Minister of Basic Education - Angie Motshekga
Deputy Minister of Basic Education - Enver Surty
4. Minister of Communications - Siphiwe Nyanda
Deputy Minister of Communications - Dina Pule
5. Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs - Sicelo Shiceka
Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs - Yunus Carrim
6. Minister of Correctional Services - Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
Deputy Minister of Correctional Services - Hlengiwe Mkhize
7. Minister of Defence and Military Veterans - Lindiwe Sisulu
Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans - Thabang Makwetla
8. Minister of Economic Development - Ebrahim Patel
Deputy Minister of Economic Development - Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde
9. Minister of Energy - Dipuo Peters
10. Minister of Finance - Pravin Gordhan
Deputy Minister of Finance - Nhlanhla Nene
11. Minister of Health - Dr Aaron Motsoaledi
Deputy Minister of Health - Dr Molefi Sefularo
12. Minister of Higher Education and Training - Dr Blade Nzimande
13. Minister of Home Affairs - Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
Deputy Minister of Home Affairs - Malusi Gigaba
14. Minister of Human Settlements - Tokyo Sexwale
Deputy Minister of Human Settlements - Zou Kota
15. 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
16. Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development - Jeff Radebe
Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development - Andries Nel
17. Minister of Labour - Membathisi Mdladlana
18. Minister of Mining - Susan Shabangu
19. Minister of Police - Nathi Mthethwa
Deputy Minister of Police - Fikile Mbalula
20. Minister of Public Enterprises - Barbara Hogan
Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises - Enoch Godongwana
21. Minister for the Public Service and Administration - Richard Baloyi
Deputy Minister for the Public Service and Administration - Roy Padayachie
22. Minister of Public Works - Geoff Doidge
Deputy Minister of Public Works - Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu
23. Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform - Gugile Nkwinti
Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform - Dr Joe Phaahla
24. Minister of Science and Technology - Naledi Pandor
Deputy Minister of Science and Technology - Derek Hanekom
25. Minister of Social Development - Edna Molewa
Deputy Minister of Social Development - Bathabile Dlamini
26. Minister of Sport and Recreation - Makhenkesi Stofile
Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation - Gert Oosthuizen
27. Minister of State Security - Siyabonga Cwele
28. Minister in The Presidency (1)
National Planning Commission - Trevor Manuel
29. Minister in The Presidency (2)
Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration in the Presidency - Collins Chabane
30. Minister of Tourism - Marthinus van Schalkwyk
Deputy Minister of Tourism - Thozile Xasa
31. 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
32. Minister of Transport - Sbusiso Joel Ndebele
Deputy Minister of Transport - Jeremy Cronin
33. Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs - Buyelwa Sonjica
Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs - Rejoice Mabhudafhasi
34. Minister of Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities - Noluthando Mayende-SibiyaWe 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 utilise. 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: The Presidency
10 May 2009
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