New minister to go on 'listening campaign'

2011-10-26 08:05

Cape Town - New Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi will embark on a "listening campaign" before deciding on a strategy to turn around the troubled department.

"I understand that it is a difficult task, I appreciate the magnitude of the challenge," Nxesi said on Tuesday.

"I will go on a listening campaign, I will read all the reports, and later on will be able to announce my plan."

Nxesi spoke to reporters after he was sworn in along with Communications Minister Dina Pule and Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Land Reform Lechesa Tsenoli.

"The AG's [Auditor General] report, the SIU [Special Investigating Unit] report - they all point to recent challenges and therefore I will have to apply my mind on all these issues.

"I will consult with all stakeholders, including my predecessor."

Flouted processes

The AG this month gave public works a disclaimer, while the SIU said it may have awarded contracts worth R3bn in an irregular manner.

Nxesi is replacing Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, who was found by the public protector to have flouted processes in the police headquarters saga.

President Jacob Zuma fired her on Monday in his second Cabinet reshuffle.

Zuma also sacked Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka, who was found by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to have wasted state funds on hotel stays and a trip to Switzerland.

The Cabinet reshuffle resulted in a total of eight changes, but since half of those involved serving ministers or deputy ministers being moved to other portfolios, they did not need to take the oath again.

The new deputy minister of communications, ANC MP Tembisa Stella Ndabeni, will be sworn in once she returns from a parliamentary work trip abroad.

No women, children deputy minister

Zuma has moved former communications minister Roy Padayachie to public service and administration, and appointed the former minister in that portfolio, Richard Baloyi, to take over from Shiceka at co-operative governance.

Former deputy minister of communications, Obed Bapela, becomes the new deputy minister in the presidency for performance monitoring and evaluation.

Former deputy public works minister, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, becomes the new deputy minister for women, children and persons with disability.

Zuma has not filled her old post, leaving Nxesi to run the ministry without a deputy.

"I think it is a sign that maybe it can be done alone," he said.

- SAPA

Read more on:    thulas nxesi  |  politics
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