Mondli Gungubele is the new communications minister

Mondli Gungubele. Image: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa surprised the ICT sector on Monday evening by replacing his communications minister.

Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has received a big promotion, moving to the presidency, where she will be responsible for “various tasks ranging from state security” to managing GCIS – currently under the department of communications – as well as “various other tasks I will allocate to her”.

Ramaphosa did not not elaborate on what this might entail.

The president’s address to the nation began more than an hour-and-a-half after it was originally scheduled to start. He apologised for the delayed start to his address, but didn’t say what caused the delay.

Gungubele, 66, is moving to the communications portfolio from his current role as minister in the presidency, where he had oversight of the State Security Agency.

An educator and trade unionist, mainly with the National Union of Mineworkers, Gungubele has a BCom degree and a national diploma in nursing. He was briefly a high school teacher in the early 1980s. He served as mayor of Ekurhuleni from 2010 to 2016 and later as deputy minister of finance.

He is seen as a close ally of Ramaphosa’s.

Minister of electricity

Ramaphosa, meanwhile, appointed Paul Mashatile to the post of the deputy president following David Mabuza’s resignation last week.

In another change to his national executive, the president chose Kgosientsho Ramokgopa for the newly created role of electricity minister.

A cabinet shuffle had been widely expected since Ramaphosa was re-elected leader of the ANC at a party leadership contest in December, paving the way for him to run for a second term in 2024.

Read: Minister’s digital migration move leaves SABC in lurch (paywall)

He had announced last month that he would create the position of electricity minister within the presidency to help address the nation’s power crisis, as state-owned Eskom implements the worst power cuts on record.  — (c) 2023 NewsCentral Media, with additional reporting (c) 2023 Reuters

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