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Minister Thoko Didiza leaves agriculture

Minister Thoko Didiza’s tenure as the minister of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) has effectively come to an end.

This after she was elected the National Assembly Speaker with 284 votes on Friday, in Cape Town.

Didiza served as DALRRD minister since May 2019.

She will be remembered for leading and implementing programmes such as the Agriculture and Agro-Processing Master Plan (AAMP) and the Presidential Employment Stimulus initiative (PESI) amongst others.

Her efforts in keeping the agriculture sector afloat during Covid-19, will also be remembered.

Didiza first joined government during the late president Nelson Mandela’s Government of National Unity (GNU) as Deputy Minister of Agriculture from 1994 to 1999. During former president Thabo Mbeki’s era, she first served as Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs and then as Minister of Public Works. She was among the several ministers who resigned in the aftermath of Mbeki’s recall by the ANC in September 2008.

Didiza then returned to Parliament in 2014, as a house chairperson in the National Assembly, a position she held throughout the fifth democratic Parliament. During that period, she stood unsuccessfully as the ANC’s candidate for election as Mayor of Tshwane in the 2016 municipal elections.

Her nomination led to several days of riots by ANC supporters in the city. She returned to the cabinet after the 2019 general election, appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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