Statement by President Nelson Mandela on the appointment of new Cabinet members

13 May 1996

After the decision of the National Party to withdraw from the Government of National Unity, I have decided to act with expedition to appoint ministers into the portfolios that will be left vacant as from 1 July 1996. This will allow the appointees to familarise themselves with their new tasks, and, where applicable, to wind down their business in other departments.

I have also taken into account the commitment of the government to rationalise and streamline its activities as much as practicable, in order to save public funds. In this regard, I have decided to abolish the Ministry of General Affairs, and to merge the Ministries of Agriculture and Land Affairs. Combined with the fact that South Africa will now have one Executive Deputy President, this step will contribute in a small, but significant, way to the programme of belt-tightening that the government has embarked upon.

The new ministry of Agriculture and Land Affairs will be headed by Derek Hannekom. Thoko Msane-Didiza will continue serving as Deputy Minister of Agriculture.

Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi will take over as Minister of Welfare and Population Development; and Mohammed Valli Moosa as Minister for Provincial Affairs and Constitutional Development.

I have appointed Penuell Maduna as Minister of Mineral and energy Affairs, and Susan Shabangu will continue serving as Deputy Minister.

Pallo Jordan becomes the new Minister of Environmental Affairs and for Tourism, with Bantu Holomisa continuing as the Deputy Minister.

It is our intention that the new appointees should start paying as smooth transition in the various departments.

I am confident that these capable men and women will acquit themselves with distinction in their new responsibilities, as they have done in areas where they were previously deployed.

A number of deputy ministerial vacancies will arise as a result of the NP's withdrawal from government. The announcement regarding the filling of these vacancies, where necessary, will be made in due course.

I also wish to underline that, with the cabinet having been reduced to 25, the stipulations of the interim constitution are such that all the new appointees should come from the ranks of the ANC.

Issued by: Office of the President

Source: South African Government Information Website