Pretoria — Derek Hanekom, who has been appointed as the new Minister for the Department of Science and Technology (DST), will be sworn into office at the Union Buildings later today.
President Jacob Zuma made the announcement of Hanekom's appointment on Wednesday.
Hanekom has served as the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology since 2004. He takes over the reins from Naledi Pandor, who has been appointed as Minister of Home Affairs to replace Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who has been elected as the chair of the African Union Commission.
In welcoming the new minister, the department'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."
Hanekom says he is ready to pick up where his predecessor left off.
"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."
Mjwara thanked Minister Naledi Pandor for her sterling leadership and for steering the DST towards a renewed vision in building a vibrant national system of innovation.
He said Pandor had stimulated great enthusiasm for science and technology and was an important factor in South Africa's successful bid to host the Square Kilometre Array.