Derek Hanekom, who has served as the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology in South Africa since 2004, was last week appointed as the new Minister for the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
President Jacob Zuma made the statement on Wednesday while announcing other cabinet reshuffles.
In a statement, President Zuma said: “They [ministers] have distinguished themselves in their current portfolios and I am confident that they will do exceptionally well in their new responsibilities as well. I wish them all the best.”
Hanekom was sworn in at the Union Buildings on Thursday. He takes over the position from Naledi Pandor, who has been appointed as Minister of Home Affairs to replace Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who has been elected as the chairperson of the African Union Commission.
DST’s Director-General Dr. Phil Mjwara said: “Minister Hanekom is familiar with the portfolio of science and technology and he will continue with the drive to steer the country towards the knowledge economy.”
The DST also thanked Pandor for her leadership, her enthusiasm for science and technology and the role she played in South Africa’s successful bid for the Square Kilometre Array.
“It was a privilege working with Minister Pandor and I will build on the foundation laid by my predecessors, including the former Minister of Science and Technology, Minister Mosibudi Mangena,” said Hanekom on his appointment.
Hanekom remarked that it had been a privilege working with Pandor.