Former Eastern Cape economic affairs MEC Godongwana replaces Tito as finance minister

New finance minister Enoch Godongwana
Image: Robert Tshabalala

In a surprise move, former Eastern Cape  economic affairs MEC Enoch Godongwana was named SA’s new finance minister last night.

Announcing a cabinet reshuffle, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Godongwana would replace Tito Mboweni, who had asked to step down from his position.

“I am grateful to Mr Mboweni for responding to the call I made to him to serve our nation,” Ramaphosa said.

“Today, I have acceded to his request to leave, and we wish him well in his endeavours — and I am sure he will continue to excel and also be available for certain tasks that he may be given from time to time.”

Mthatha-born Gondongwana is currently chair of the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

In 2012, he resigned as deputy minister of economic development following a strained working relationship between him and his minister, Ebrahim Patel.

In 2005, Godongwana was embroiled in scandal when then Eastern Cape premier Nosimo Balindlela announced an inquiry to probe corruption and maladministration in the province.

Godongwana, with former premier Makhenkesi Stofile, Eastern Cape finance, economic development and environmental affairs MEC Mcebisi Jonas and ANC provincial chair Stone Sizani, were implicated in the findings of the Pillay Commission, chaired by judge Ronnie Pillay.

In 2009, the four had brought a high court application to have the Pillay findings dismissed.

In May 2009, judge Dylan Chetty declared the inquiry’s findings a “nullity”.

Earlier  yesterday, health minister Zweli Mkhize, embroiled in a scandal of his own with the Digital Vibes saga, resigned from his position.

He will be replaced by deputy health minister Joe Phaahla.

Other new appointments are:

  • The presidency:  long-time Ramaphosa aide Mondli Gungubele;
  • Communications and digital technologies: former acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni;
  • Defence and military veterans: former National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise;
  • Human settlements: former acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi;
  • Public service and administration: former state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo;
  • Small business development: former communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams;
  • Tourism: former water, sanitation and human settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu; and
  • Water and sanitation: former public service and administration minister Senzo Mchunu

The government has decided that water and sanitation, which Sisulu previously headed along with the human settlements portfolio, should be a separate ministry.

“[This] will enable a dedicated focus on ensuring that all South Africans have access to a secure and sustainable supply of this precious resource,” Ramaphosa said.

“The second change we are making is to do away with the ministry of state security and place political responsibility for the state security agency in the presidency.

“This is to ensure that the country’s domestic and foreign intelligence services more effectively enable the president to exercise his responsibility to safeguard the security and integrity of the nation.”

Defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has been  “deployed to a new position”.

Ramaphosa also announced a number of new deputy ministers.


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