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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa had announced his first Cabinet reshuffle, opting to reinstate Derek Hanekom as Minister of Tourism, replacing Tokozile Xasa. Minister Hanekom as of February 27
Another re-appointment includes Nhlanhla Nene as SA’s new Finance Minister.
Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa, appointed by former president Jacob Zuma, has been moved to the portfolio of Sports and Recreation. During her time as tourism minister and SA’s first female tourism minister, Xasa championed Women in Tourism, township tourism as well as responsible tourism as part of her key agenda.
Hanekom served as the Minister of Tourism for nearly three years, before being replaced in March last year. He was first appointed as the Minister of Tourism on 26 May 2014.
He previously served as Minister of Science and Technology from October 2012 until 2014. He was Deputy Minister of Science and Technology having served under the then-Presidents Kgalema Motlanthe and Thabo Mbeki, and former President Jacob Zuma in May 2009. He has a strong African National Congress (ANC) history having served three years in prison for the work he did for the ANC during apartheid, with his wife Dr. Trish Hanekom who served three years for her involvement.
He is also a former Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, having served under the Mandela administration. Hanekom’s tenure as Minister of Land Affairs was reflective of his career in the anti-apartheid NGO sector and he was selected by former President Nelson Mandela partly because of his ability as an Afrikaner to negotiate with white landowners. Hanekom’s tenure as minister was marked by an affinity for redistribution as opposed to retribution, and rights as opposed to property. Some have cited a strong contrast with his successor in the ministry during the Mbeki administration, Thoko Didiza.
Hanekom is a member of the ANC National Executive Committee – and has been since 1994 – and the NEC deployee to the Western Cape – the only province the ANC does not govern.
Hanekom also led a motion of no confidence for Zuma to be recalled in November 2016 during a meeting of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC). At the time Zuma did not fire other supporters of the motion who included Thulas Nxesi, who becomes sport minister, and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.
Hanekom was born in Cape Town, South Africa on 13 January 1953. He spent his school career in Cape Town, attending the German Primary School and then matriculating from prominent Afrikaans school, Jan van Riebeeck Secondary in 1970. Hanekom went on to complete his compulsory conscription in the South African Defence Force. Thereafter, Hanekom travelled abroad where he worked for various organisations including working on farms, factories and building sites. He then returned to South Africa in his early twenties where he continued farming. Working the land, Hanekom was a dairy, poultry, and vegetable farmer from 1978 – 1983.