The new South African Minister of Tourism is Hon. Tokozile Xasa with her Deputy now being Hon. Elizabeth Thabethe, following the axing of former Minister, Derek Hanekom. The new Minister was announced just after midnight, by President Jacob Zuma in a statement confirmed after a cabinet reshuffle.
Hanekom’s removal coincides with that of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Minister Tina Joemat-Peterson of the Ministry of Energy, Minster of Transport Dipuo Peters and Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi of Public Service and Administration.
Minister Xasa has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and Psychology from the Walter Sisulu University, along with a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Fort Hare. Her life in the political arena began as a national executive member of the ANC Women’s League from 1995 to 1997. Subsequent to that, she served as a Regional Secretary for the Transkei Women’s League between 1993 and 1995. She is a Member of the Provincial Legislature from 2001 until 2009, where she then become Deputy Minister of Tourism.
The statement in the President’s words was: “I have decided to make changes to the National Executive in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness. The changes bring some younger MPs and women into the National Executive in order to benefit from their energy, experience and expertise. I have directed the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers to work tirelessly with their colleagues to bring about radical socio-economic transformation and to ensure that the promise of a better life for the poor and the working class becomes a reality.
The new members are as follows:
1. Minister of Energy, Ms Mmamoloko “Nkhensani” Kubayi
2. Minister of Transport, Mr Joe Maswanganyi
3. Minister of Finance, Mr Malusi Gigaba
4. Minister of Police, Mr Fikile Mbalula
5. Minister of Public Works, Mr Nathi Nhleko
6. Minister of Sports and Recreation, Mr Thembelani Nxesi
7. Minister of Tourism, Ms Tokozile Xasa
8. Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Faith Muthambi
9. Minister of Home Affairs, Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize
10. Minister of Communications, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo
1. Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba
2. Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Sifiso Buthelezi
3. Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Ben Martins
4. Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms Maggie Sotyu
5. Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Gratitude Magwanishe
6. Deputy Minister of Communications, Ms Thandi Mahambehlala
7. Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe
8. Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Bongani Mkongi
9. Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
10. Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Nomathemba November.
I wish to extend my gratitude to the outgoing Ministers and Deputy Ministers for their service to the country. I also wish the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers the best in their new responsibilities.”