If qualifications and experience were the pre-requisites for the job of acting health minister, Dr Mathume Joseph “Joe” Phaahla, would be the ideal candidate to replace the embattled Dr Zweli Mkhize.
Phaahla, who was appointed deputy health minister on 30 May 2019, is a seasoned medical doctor with a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery (MBCHB) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (previously University of Natal).
He practised as a medical practitioner in various hospitals of KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo until April 1994.
Before the unbanning of the ANC in 1990, Phaahla served in leadership positions in various mass democratic movement structures, including the being in the executive of the United Democratic Front (UDF).
He became a member of provincial executive committee (PEC) of ANC in Limpopo from 1991 to 2001. He became the first MEC for health and social development in Limpopo from 1994 to 1997 – before heading for sport and culture.
Involved in organising the 2010 Fifa World Cup until 10 May 2009, Phaahla has served as director-general in the Department of Sport and Recreation.
Who is SA’s new (acting) Minister of Health?
Tourism Minister Mmamoloko “Nkhensani” Kubayi-Ngubane, who is a member of the ANC national executive committee (NEC), holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Johannesburg (formerly Vista University), a postgraduate diploma in project management from Damelin College, and a Masters degree in public and development management from the University of the Witwatersrand.
She has also completed a programme for leadership development at Harvard Business School.
She is a member of the Global Artificial Intelligence Council established by the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
As part of the council, she and other global leaders are tasked with the responsibility to provide strategic guidance to the international community on priorities for Artificial Intelligence, machine learning governance and cooperation, while helping to shape global policy development.
Previously, she served as a minister in three portfolios: Science and Technology, Communications and Energy respectively.