The ministry of communications is just over four years old and has had six ministers since its inception in May 2014.
On Thursday President Cyril Ramaphosa made his second cabinet reshuffle since he came into office in February and, like clockwork, the communications minister did not escape the axe as Nomvula Mokonyane was moved to the department of environmental affairs and Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams was sworn in as the new minister of communications.
Ramaphosa said he had also decided to merge the telecommunications and communications ministries into one.
The two departments — communications and the telecommunications and postal services — would remain separate however, even though they would now fall under a single minister, until a new administration is elected in 2019.
“This move is going to ensure that we have better alignment and co-ordination of matters that are of importance to our economy,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa said the merger and this latest reshuffle was a precursor or a “first wave” to more robust changes — “in line with the announcement that I made in the State of the Nation Address that we are going to look at realigning government”.
He added that in anticipation of sixth democratic administration we will have completed this work of reconfiguring government.