Cabinet Report Cards 2015: The ministers who flew or flopped

The M&G Cabinet report card has become a respected barometer of government performance. These are the scores that are the most accurate, which also appear in the M&G end of year edition for 2015.


Scoring the Cabinet ministers every year is a tradition at the Mail & Guardian. Recently, however, we’ve had to contend with a new tradition: President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffles practically every year – and this year the multiple shake-ups at the finance ministry. 

We also do our best to give the ministries an opportunity to discuss with us their achievements and problems during 2015, but some decided not to participate. We’ve rated them nonetheless because we think the jobs they’ve been appointed to do are important enough to warrant close scrutiny. 

This year we’re introducing a new measure of their performance. In partnership with Media Tenor we have rated the tone of each cabinet member’s media coverage and how they come across to the public.

The report cards were compiled by:
Phillip de Wet
Carien du Plessis
Bongani Nkosi
Sam Sole
Lisa Steyn
Sipho Kings
Lionel Faull
Craig McKune
Lynley Donnelly
Mmanaledi Mataboge
Victoria John
Mia Malan
Sarah Wild
Tabelo Timse
Mosibudi Ratlebjane
Luke Alfred
Qaanitah Hunter
Kwanele Sosibo
Matuma Letsoalo
Sally Evans

Drawings: John McCann

Name Portfolio
Jacob Zuma President
Cyril Ramaphosa ​Deputy President
Jeff Radebe ​Minister in the Presidency (Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation)
Senzeni Zokwana Minister of ​Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Nathi Mthethwa Minister of ​Arts and Culture
Angie Motshekga Minister of ​Basic Education
Faith Muthambi Minister of Communications
Pravin Gordhan Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (former)
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
Ebrahim Patel Minister of Economic Development
Tina Joemat-Pettersson Minister of Energy
Edna Molewa Minister of Environmental Affairs
Des van Rooyen Minister of Finance (former)
Aaron Motsoaledi Minister of Health
Blade Nzimande Minister of Higher Education and Training
Malusi Gigaba Minister of Home Affairs
Lindiwe Sisulu Minister of Human Settlement
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
Michael Masutha Minister of Justice and Correctional Services
Mildred Oliphant Minister of Labour
Mosebenzi Zwane Minister of Mineral Resources
Nathi Nhleko Minister of Police
Lynne Brown Minister of Public Enterprises
Ngoako Ramatlhodi Minister of Public Service and Administration
Thulas Nxesi Minister of Public Works
Gugile Nkwinti Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform
Naledi Pandor Minister of Science and Technology
Lindiwe Zulu Minister of Small Business Development
Bathabile Dlamini Minister of Social Development
Fikile Mbalula Minister of Sport and Recreation
David Mahlobo Minister of State Security
Siyabonga Cwele Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services
Derek Hanekom Minister of Tourism
Rob Davies Minister of Trade and Industry
Dipuo Peters Minister of Transport
Nomvula Mokonyane Minister of Water and Sanitation
Susan Shabangu ​Minister of Women in the Presidency
Nhlanhla Nene Minister of Finance (former)