New South African President Jacob Zuma has named Pravin Gordhan as his new finance minister. He will take over from Trevor Manuel, who has been appointed head of a new national planning body. Mr Zuma has pledged to tackle the tough economic crisis, widespread poverty and rising crime, but insisted he would not hand out favours to his supporters.

FINANCEHe told a news conference he wanted an efficient, and caring administration with no laziness or incompetence. As head of the new National Planning Commission, Mr Manuel will now be responsible for strategic planning and co-ordination among government departments. “Comrade Trevor Manuel is being given a new structure, a very powerful structure, that is going to work out a national plan of government,” Mr Zuma said.

He said he believed the markets would react positively to his new appointments, but added: “Who can predict the markets?” Mr Zuma was elected president by parliament after the African National Congress won the general election last month, albeit with a slightly reduced majority. Aaron Motsoaledi has been appointed to the key post of health minister, as the country tackles an HIV/Aids epidemic.



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