South African president names new ministers

AP News
Posted: Oct 31, 2010 1:39 PM
South African president names new ministers

The ministers in charge of state-owned businesses and public works were among those changed Sunday in a Cabinet shuffle President Jacob Zuma said would speed change in the lives of poor South Africans.

Zuma announced at a news conference in the capital, Pretoria, that a third of the Cabinet was being changed, saying: "Government has to work at a faster pace to change the lives of the poor."

South African media had been speculating for weeks about a shuffle in the 34-minister Cabinet.

Zuma named 10 new ministers and also added deputies in several areas including the police ministry. South Africa's high levels of violent crime have been a political issue.

The mining ministry, which has been plagues by charges of corruption and mismanagement, also got a deputy. Mining contributes a third of the country's export revenues, Zuma noted Sunday.

Most of South Africa's black majority remains poor 16 years after the end of apartheid, and pledges to improve their lives dominated Zuma's campaign last year.

He led his African National Congress party to overwhelming victory, and has been under pressure since taking office in May 2009 to make his promises reality.

Zuma's government pledged last week to create 5 million jobs over the next decade. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said that would require growth of more than 6 percent a year.

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South Africa's growth was a negative 1.8 percent in 2009, a drop blamed on the 2008 global recession, and nearly 1 million jobs were lost here last year. The International Monetary Fund predicted this week that South Africa's growth for 2010 would be between 3 percent and 3.5 percent for 2011.

The ministries with new leaders were communications; public works; women, children and people with disabilities; labor; water and environmental affairs; public service and administration; public enterprises; sports and recreation; arts and culture; and social development.

(This version CORRECTS Corrects total number of new ministers named to 10 and lists the ministries.)