Opposition parties have welcomed the appointment of Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams as the new Minister of Communications – taking over from Nomvula Mokonyane who is now the Minister of Environmental Affairs. This follows the passing of Edna Molewa.

In a cabinet reshuffle earlier on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa also put Siyabonga Cwele in charge of Home Affairs after Malusi Gigaba’s resignation.

EFF says Ndabeni-Abrahams’ elevation to her new position shows a confidence to “young black woman” in the country.

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, however, says President Cyril Ramaphosa has missed the opportunity to get rid of the old ministers who have been serving in government for many years.

“We really welcome the appointment of Stella into the cabinet as a proper minister. It is a statement of confidence to the black woman and we welcome that. But the cabinet is still a bunch of old people whose contribution is worn-out. Bathabile Dlamini! Why Bathabile Dlamini is still there? Why Nomvula Mokonyane is being recycled? She demonstrated serious incompetence in any position she has been given.”

United Democratic Movement (UDM) MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa says, “The President decided to miss an opportunity to provide standing leadership on this issue because in our view some of the ministers who are perennial who are performers in that cabinet should have been removed. One of them is Bathabile Dlamini for instance. We cannot understand why the Minister, the one who was in Communications Nomvula Mokonyane has been moved to environmental affairs. But as we say so we want to take this opportunity to congratulate Stella Ndabeni for being appointed Minister of Communications. I think it’s a step in the right direction.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa also announced that the Ministries of Communications and Telecommunications and Postal Services will be merged into a single Ministry.

Ramaphosa says, “This move is going to ensure that we have better alignment and coordination of matters that are critical to the future of our economy particularly in the context of the 4th industrial revolution. The decision to merge the two ministries is in line with the announcement that I made during the State of the Nation Address that we are going to look at re-aligning government.”

EFF’s Ndlozi says the merging of these ministries should pave the way for saving the SABC from its financial troubles:

“What was really an illogical decision by Zuma to separate Telecommunications and Communications … so the joining of the two is really a welcomed development. Makes sense! That should be followed by giving a guarantee to the SABC because if you do not give guarantees to the SABC it will be a serious crime against our democracy because the public broadcaster won’t be able to properly cover the 2019 elections with the type of financial problems that they find themselves.”

Meanwhile, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) says it is also disappointed that Bathabile Dlamini has not been removed from cabinet. The party’s President Reverend Kenneth Meshoe says the redeployment of Mokonyane is disappointing.

“There is a minister in cabinet, who is facing possible charges of perjury, Bathabile Dlamini. Nomvula Mokonyane. So, now when you have a minister who has failed in one department and they are promoted or redeployed to another department, I do not know what made the president to think that a person who is incapable, will become capable.”

Read social media reactions to the reshuffle below: