DA’s Solly Malatsi appointed as new communications minister

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 01 Jul 2024
Solly Malatsi, South Africa’s new minister of communications and digital technologies. (Image source: DA)
Solly Malatsi, South Africa’s new minister of communications and digital technologies. (Image source: DA)

The Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) Solly Malatsi (38) is South Africa’s new minister of communications and digital technologies.

This, after president Cyril Ramaphosa last night announced the new members of the national executive for the seventh administration, which is inclusive of all the parties in the Government of National Unity (GNU).

Mondli Gungubele, who served as communications and digital technologies minister since March last year, is now deputy minister of the department.

The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) is charged with driving SA’s ICT agenda and development of the digital economy.

The highly-anticipated announcement took place after Ramaphosa was elected as president by the National Assembly on Friday, 14 June, after which he was inaugurated on Wednesday, 19 June.

The 11 parties to the GNU are the African National Congress, DA, Patriotic Alliance, Inkatha Freedom Party, Good Party, Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, Freedom Front Plus, United Democratic Movement, Al Jama-ah, Rise Mzansi and the United Africans Transformation.

Addressing the nation on Sunday evening, the president said given the challenges the country faces and considering the electoral mandate this government must implement, he has decided to make certain changes to national government portfolios.

“In the course of the sixth democratic administration, we indicated our intention to reduce the number of portfolios in the national executive. However, due to the need to ensure the national executive is inclusive of all the parties to the Government of National Unity, this has not been possible.

“In some instances, we have considered it necessary to separate certain portfolios to ensure there is sufficient focus on key issues,” Ramaphosa said at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Malatsi is the first DA minister to oversee the DCDT portfolio since SA’s first democratic elections in 1994.

“The DA is proud to rise to the challenge, and take our place, for the very first time, at the seat of national government, where we can introduce our track record of governance excellence, zero tolerance for corruption, and pragmatic policymaking based on outcome and not intent. The mission to create an open opportunity society for all South Africans now becomes our sole focus, as we work the levers of the highest level of government in our country,” says the party in a statement.

“The formulation of the DA’s National Executive Member offering takes into consideration skills and expertise, qualifications and experience, and diversity, while ensuring our parliamentary caucus retains key members to exercise oversight over all national departments.

“We look forward to being part of a new era in SA’s democratic journey, and bringing real and tangible change to the millions of citizens who voted for it. As we embark upon this new chapter for SA, the DA looks forward to playing its part in ensuring SA’s ultimate success and prosperity.”

Born in December 1985, Malatsi has been a member of the National Assembly of South Africa since May 2014. He has served in the national leadership of the DA as deputy federal chairperson since 2023.

He has also been the party's national spokesperson since August 2022, previously holding the position from June 2018 to November 2020. Malatsi was also the parliamentary counsellor to the DA parliamentary leader, and held posts in the DA's shadow cabinet.