Zuma announces new structure in government

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pretoria - Newly inaugurated President Jacob Zuma has already got down to the business of work, and his first task was to announce his new cabinet on Sunday.

The new cabinet, to serve for the next five years, comprises old and new faces, and compromises a "type of government structure that would best serve our goals," said President Zuma on Sunday.

He said the structure of Cabinet and national departments had been re-organised to achieve better alignment between the structure, the party's electoral mandate as per the African National Congress (ANC) election Manifesto, and the developmental challenges that need to receive immediate attention from government.

The most notable change in the new structure is the advent of the National Planning Commission (NPC).

"Following extensive research on international models on how governments in other parts of the world plan and monitor performance, we have decided to establish a National Planning Commission which will be based in the Presidency."

The NPC will be responsible for strategic planning for the country to ensure one National Plan to which all spheres of government would adhere.

"This would enable us to take a more comprehensive view of socio-economic development in the country," said Mr Zuma.

The new structure will also see the creation of a monitoring and evaluation competency in the Presidency, to monitor and evaluate the performance of government in all three spheres.

"There will therefore be two Ministers in the Presidency, one responsible for the NPC and the other for Monitoring and Evaluation as well as administration in the Presidency," said Mr Zuma.

Outgoing Finance Minister Trevor Manuel will head the NPC.

Other changes are the following:

 The Department of Minerals and Energy will be split into two separate
departments of Mining and of Energy, each with a Minister.

 The Department of Education will be split into separate Ministries, one
for Basic Education and the other for Higher Education and Training.

 The Department of Housing will be called the Department of Human
Settlements to take on a more holistic focus.

 There will be a new department of Rural Development and Land Affairs,
which are part of key priorities for the next five years.

 The Department of Water affairs and Forestry becomes the Department of
Water and Environmental Affairs.

 A new Department of Economic Development has been established to focus
on economic policymaking. The implementation functions will remain with
the Department of Trade and Industry.

 A new department of Tourism has been created.

 Agriculture becomes Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

 The Department of Provincial and Local Government becomes Cooperative
Governance and Traditional Affairs.

 A new Ministry has been created for Women, Youth, Children and People
with Disability, to emphasise the need for equity and access to development opportunities for the vulnerable groups in our society

Delivering his inaugural speech on Saturday, Mr Zuma was clear that delivery by his administration would be a priority.

"We are now called upon to implement our Manifesto. The dreams and hopes of all the people of our country must be fulfilled. There is no place for complacency, no place for cynicism, no place for excuses.

Everything we do must contribute in a direct and meaningful way to the improvement of the lives of our people," he said.