South Africa's Ramaphosa announces cabinet that includes ex-opposition leader

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed former opposition leader John Steenhuisen as minister of agriculture on Sunday, bringing the Democratic Alliance and other parties into his new coalition cabinet.

Cyril Ramaphosa's African National Congress (ANC) was forced to join forces with rival parties to stay in power after losing its majority for the first time in three decades in the 29 May election.

The announcement of the new cabinet of the government of national unity followed weeks of protracted and at times acrimonious negotiations.

Ramaphosa retained the ANC's Enoch Godongwana as finance minister while Ronald Lamola was appointed minister of international relations and cooperation, replacing Naledi Pandor.

Gwede Mantashe stayed on as mineral and petroleum resources minister but the president removed energy from his portfolio. The combination of mineral resources had been seen by many as creating a prejudice in favour of coal as a source of power generation.

Energy will now fall within the portfolio of Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.

"These men and women we have appointed to the executive reflect the diversity of our nation," Ramaphosa said. "In the spirit of partnership and collaboration, the incoming government will work together."

Moving on from history

Some minor parties also saw their leaders receive cabinet posts.

(with Reuters)

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