South African President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday announced several high profile changes to his cabinet of ministers, including a new finance minister, new health minister and new minister and deputy minister of communications and digital technology.
Ramaphosa announced that the current communications minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, will be moved to the position of minister of small business development. Former deputy minister of communications Pinky Kekana is also to receive a new post, now becoming second deputy minister in the presidency.
With that said, the new minister of communications and digital technology is Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, with Philly Mapulane now serving as her deputy minister.
Prior to this appointment, Ntshavheni served as the municipal manager of the Ba-Phalaborwa municipality in Limpopo, the youngest municipal manager in the country at the time, from April 2008 until November 2010. She also previously served as Limpopo province’s tourism manager for trade and investment, as well as the province’s CIO for the department of local government and housing.
In terms of qualifications, the new minister has an MBA from Bradford University in the UK, and two BA(Hons) from the University of Johannesburg, one in development studies and another in labour relations.
According to her government profile, Ntshavheni has “vast work experience” in strategic management, IT, change management and communication and marketing. She was also a prominent political activist in her youth, and according to the Presidency, convinced President Nelson Mandela to adopt 16 years as the voting age of South Africa during the CODESA negotiations.
Ntshavheni had been serving as an acting minister in the presidency following the death of minister Jackson Mthembu earlier this year.
New Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technology
The new deputy minister of communications, Mapulane, has previously served as the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Environment Affairs. From 2007 to 2009, he held the position of municipal manager at the Madibeng local municipality in Brits, North West province.
He also previously served as MEC for the North West Provincial Legislature from 2010 to 2014 and as Treasurer of the ANC Provincial Executive Committee. He has been a Member of South Africa’s Parliament since 2014.