South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the resignation of the embattled Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, yesterday evening as he reshuffled the Cabinet.
Mkhize has been replaced by his deputy Dr Joe Phaahla.
He said he was making the changes to the Executive to accelerate the government’s vaccination programme to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, and to ensure peace and stability in the wake of the recent outbreak of violence and destruction in parts of the country.
President Cyril Ramaphosa also announced the resignation of often aloof Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni and the appointment of Enoch Godongwana to replace him .
Mboweni is known for his public clashes with public sector workers’ unions over civil servant wage hikes, and preferring austerity measures to curb the widening public debt.
He has also butted heads with Cabinet colleagues like Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan over the continuous funding of dysfunctional state-owned enterprises, at one point saying financing SAA was like “pouring money into the black hole”.
“I have accepted a long-standing request by Minister Tito Mboweni to be excused from his position as Minister of Finance,” Ramaphosa said.
“Minister Mboweni took up this position following the sudden departure of former minister Nhlanhla Nene in October 2018.
“Since then, he has effectively and ably steered National Treasury through extremely difficult economic times, providing stability and instilling confidence,” he said.
“I am grateful to Minister Mboweni for responding to the call to serve our nation at its time of need.”
Godongwana is also a former deputy minister of public enterprises and of economic development.