Pretoria: South African President Jacob Zuma
announced today he had fired seven underperforming ministers as he reshuffled his cabinet in a bid to strengthen his
"We are guided by the mission of our government, which is
to improve the quality of life of all South Africans
especially the poor, working with all our people," Zuma told
reporters in Pretoria.
Among those axed was controversial communications
minister Siphiwe Nyanda, a senior official in the ruling
African National Congress (ANC) who also previously served as
the head of the South African National Defence Force.
Coming into the cabinet was former youth firebrand Fikile
Mbalula, credited with leading the campaign that saw Zuma
elected ANC president in 2007, as minister of sport and
"Given the fact that we still face serious challenges of
unemployment, poverty and inequality in the country,
government has to work at a faster pace to change the lives of
the poor," Zuma said as he announced the changes.
"Access to basic services is still as important as it was
when we attained our freedom in 1994," he added.
"Our people need to see a visible improvement in the
delivery of water, electricity, health care, education, social
security, civic services, safety and security and a host of
other basic needs."
"We have the resources, including skilled and experienced
senior staff, who have to ensure that these services reach our
people, under the leadership of their ministers and deputy