DA leader John Steenhuisen is the Minister of Agriculture

DA leader John Steenhuisen is the Minister of Agriculture

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s surprise appointment of DA leader John Steenhuisen as minister of agriculture is set to spark significant debate and reactions within South Africa’s agricultural sector. In a surprising turn of events, president Cyril Ramaphosa announced late this evening the appointment of John Steenhuisen, leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), as the new minister of agriculture with Rosemary Capa as his deputy.

Ramaphosa’s eagerly awaited cabinet announcement, scheduled for 21:00, was delayed by nearly an hour before the president spoke live from the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The decision this evening sparked a wave of reactions across the agriculture sector, where expectations were high for Dr Ivan Meyer, the Western Cape minister of agriculture, economic development and tourism. Meyer, widely respected for his extensive knowledge and support across both commercial and emerging farming communities, was widely tipped for the position.

DA leader John Steenhuisen, DA MP Siviwe Gwarube and ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa

In a restructuring move, Ramaphosa announced that land reform and rural development will now be a separate entity. This ministry will be led by minister Mzwanele Nyhontso, the PAC leader, with former Limpopo premier Stanley Mthabatha appointed as the deputy minister.

DA’s key role in cabinet and parliament transitions. The DA’s inclusion in key cabinet roles marks a significant development in national unity efforts. The party secured six prominent ministries in total, including basic education, public works, communications and technology, home affairs, forestry, fisheries and the environment, alongside agriculture and rural development.

Additionally, the DA will occupy deputy minister positions in trade and industry, water, sanitation and land reform, higher education, energy and electricity, finance, and small business development.

Earlier this month, Thoko Didiza, the former minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development was elected as the speaker of the National Assembly.

Her appointment marks a significant transition from her previous ministerial role to a key position in parliamentary leadership, where she is expected to play a pivotal role in guiding legislative proceedings and fostering consensus among political parties.

Steenhuisen, currently 48, has a notable political career within the DA, serving as leader of the opposition in both the National Assembly and previously in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature. He began his political journey in Durban, elected to the city council at 22, where he quickly rose to prominence as caucus leader.

Source: eNCA

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