Presidency announces staff changes

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pretoria - The Presidency on Monday announced a few staff changes and movements.

A key change is that of the Economic Adviser to the President, Mandisi Mpahlwa, who has been appointed Ambassador-Designate to the Russian Federation.

Given his background as former Minister of Trade and Industry, Mpahlwa will assist in the country's mission to strengthen trade relations with Russia, said the Presidency in a statement.

In his new position, Mpahlwa is expected to work towards further deepening relations with Russia, which is part of the Brazil-Russia-India-China (BRIC) axis, an important partner for South Africa economically and politically.

"It was felt that given the importance of Russia, we needed a seasoned cadre to represent the President and the national interest in that country," said the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Administration, Collins Chabane.

Mpahlwa is expected to assume his position around September once the processes have been finalised.

In another movement, seasoned journalist and former City Press Editor Vusi Mona, who is the Deputy Director-General for Communications, is to join the Government Communication and Information System. The GCIS is a part of the Presidency.

Prior to being editor of City Press, Mona had been the publication's features editor and deputy editor. Mona was also editor of Tribute magazine in the late 90s and was founding editor of The Teacher newspaper.

He also had a stint as managing director of a corporate communications firm, The Corporate Communications Agency, a subsidiary of The Agency for Marketing and Advertising.

More recently, he was the head of communications, media and public relations at Rhema Ministries. The Presidency said Mona's extensive communication and media experience will benefit GCIS.

In a further movement, the Chief Director for Presidential Support Services, Steyn Speed, has resigned from the Presidency to undertake further studies. He joins Presidential spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, who is leaving to rejoin the corporate world.

Meanwhile, the Presidency says that Zuma and Chabane are currently in discussions with the Director-General, Vusi Mavimbela, regarding his role and this has not been finalized yet.

The Presidency has dismissed weekend media reports that alleged there was an exodus of staff at the institution.

"There is no exodus of staff, and there is no crisis or turmoil in the institution. What is happening are normal staff movements as it happens in any organization at any time," said the Presidency.