New generation of politicians step up to the big table

Cyril Ramaphosa appointed a few young people to his cabinet this week. Zingisa Mvumvu takes a look at some interesting new names

02 June 2019 - 00:03 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
Ronald Lamola is sworn in by chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng as minister of justice, constitutional development & correctional services.
Ronald Lamola is sworn in by chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng as minister of justice, constitutional development & correctional services.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo

RONALD LAMOLA

Born in the Mpumalanga town of Komatipoort 36 years ago, Lamola is the youngest cabinet minister. He is in charge of the powerful justice, constitutional development & correctional services portfolio.

He is armed with an LLB from the University of Venda and two master's degrees, in corporate law and extractive industries law, from the University of Pretoria.

The rising ANC star served as ANC Youth League (ANCYL) deputy president under Julius Malema in 2011 before being caught up in the league's turmoil.

Lamola made a sensational comeback into the higher echelons of the ANC in December 2017 when he was elected to its national executive committee (NEC).

DAVID MASONDO

Deputy minister of finance David Masondo reads the oath of office during the swearing-in ceremony on Thursday.
Deputy minister of finance David Masondo reads the oath of office during the swearing-in ceremony on Thursday.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo

Deputy finance minister Masondo is a former chairman of the SACP's youth wing, the Young Communist League.

He was born in the Vhembe district of Limpopo and cut his political teeth early when he led the Congress of South African Students.

He studied towards a BA at Wits University, where he served as SRC president.

A former finance MEC in Limpopo, Masondo has a PhD from New York University, where he studied the vehicle manufacturing industry.

Before joining the National Treasury this week, the 45-year-old - who is an NEC member - was in charge of the ANC's OR Tambo Political School.

KHUMBUDZO NTSHAVHENI

Khumbudzo Ntshavheni takes the oath as minister of small business development during a ceremony at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria.
Khumbudzo Ntshavheni takes the oath as minister of small business development during a ceremony at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo

A self-made entrepreneur, Ntshavheni - the minister of small business - has an MBA from Bradford University in the UK.

She's a farmer and has run several small businesses. Ntshavheni, 42, grew up in the small-business world - her mother was in the taxi industry and her father once owned a general dealer's store.

In the run-up to the tumultuous Nasrec conference in December 2017, she was campaign manager for President Cyril Ramaphosa in her home province of Limpopo.

"Personally, I am a third-generation small-business entrepreneur, so that experience will come in handy," she said this week.

Ntshavheni said she once owned a wholesaler "and I know the challenges within the sector".

BAVELILE HLONGWA

The new deputy minister of mineral resources & energy has a BSc in chemical engineering from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Hlongwa, 38, has worked for corporations such as Shell SA, where she was a refinishing process technologist, and Sapref Refinery, as a production engineer and gas scheduler.

Hlongwa's political activism started at university but she was catapulted into the big league when she was elected to the ANCYL national executive, where she still serves. Last year she told older ANC Women's League leaders that it was time for young blood to take over.

NJABULO NZUZA

Deputy minister of home affairs Njabulo Nzuza is sworn in by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.
Deputy minister of home affairs Njabulo Nzuza is sworn in by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo

The new deputy minister of home affairs is secretary-general in the outgoing ANCYL top structure.

The 37-year-old holds a degree in economics and was elected to the KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee of the ANC at the last provincial conference.

Insiders said he received news of his appointment with disbelief when Ramaphosa and Ace Magashule informed him.


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