Staff changes in The Presidency

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Presidency wishes to announce the following with respect to personnel matters in the institution.

The Economic Adviser to the President, Mr Mandisi Mpahlwa, has been appointed Ambassador-Designate to the Russian Federation. His mandate is 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.

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

"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, Mr Collins Chabane.

Mr Mpahlwa, who is also the President's Sherpa and point man on the G8 and G20 interfaces and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), is expected to assume his position around September once the processes have been finalised.

The Deputy Director-General for Communications, Mr Vusi Mona, is to move to the Government Communications and Information System (GCIS). The GCIS is part of The Presidency and reports to Minister Chabane.

Mr Mona will bring to GCIS his extensive media and communications experience and skills, having worked as a newspaper editor and communication specialist for a number of years. The weekend media reports that Mr Mona has been asked to resign are incorrect.

The Presidency wishes Mr Mona and Mr Mpahlwa well in their new strategic deployments.

Meanwhile, President Zuma and Minister Chabane are currently in discussions with the Director-General, Mr Vusi Mavimbela regarding his role and this has not been finalized yet.
We also wish to confirm the departure of the Chief Director for Presidential Support Services, Mr Steyn Speed who is leaving to undertake further studies.

Mr Speed had indicated last year that he would be with the institution for only one year. We are also bidding farewell to the spokesperson of the President, Vincent Magwenya, who is leaving to rejoin the corporate world, as announced on Friday, 2 July.

The Presidency is grateful for the dedication and contribution shown by each of these officials, and wishes them well in their new responsibilities.

The Presidency has also noted with concern the speculative reporting in the weekend media. 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.

Issued by The Presidency

Enquiries: Zizi Kodwa on 082 330 4910