Presidency rejects staff exodus
Johannesburg - The presidency on Monday rejected media reports at the weekend that there is a staff exodus and a crisis in the institution.
Announcing the appointment of Mandisi Mpahlwa as ambassador-designate to the Russian Federation, it said what is happening are normal staff movements as it happens in any organisation at any time.
Mpahlwa's mandate, the presidency said in a statement, will be to work towards further deepening relations with Russia, which is part of the Brazil-Russia-India-China (BRIC) axis, an important partner for South Africa economically and politically.
"Given his background as former minister of trade and industry, Mr Mpahlwa will assist in the country's mission to strengthen trade relations with Russia.
"It was felt that given the importance of Russia, we needed a seasoned cadre to represent the president and the national interest in that country," said the minister in the presidency responsible for administration, Collins Chabane.
Mpahlwa, who is also the president's point man on the G8 and G20 interfaces and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad), is expected to assume his position in September once the processes have been finalised.
Also on the move in the presidency is the deputy director general for communications, Vusi Mona, who is to move to the Government Communications and Information System (GCIS), a part of the presidency,' and will report to Minister Chabane, the institution has said.
"Mr Mona will bring to GCIS his extensive media and communications experience and skills, having worked as a newspaper editor and communication specialist for a number of years," said the presidency.
It further stated that the weekend media reports that Mona has been asked to resign are incorrect.
Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma and Minister Chabane are currently in discussions with the director general, Vusi Mavimbela, regarding his role and this has not been finalised yet.
The presidency confirmed the departure of the chief director for Presidential Support Services, Steyn Speed, who is leaving to undertake further studies.
"Mr Speed had indicated last year that he would be with the institution for only one year. We are also bidding farewell to the spokesperson of the president, Vincent Magwenya, who is leaving to rejoin the corporate world, as announced on Friday 2 July," the presidency said.
The Presidency is grateful for the dedication and contribution shown by each of these officials, and wishes them well in their new responsibilities, it said.