The presidency has appointed Lakela Kaunda as chief operations officer, it said on Thursday.
“Ms Kaunda has served as the deputy director-general and head of the private office of the president since 2009,” spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.
She served as Zuma’s spokeswoman when he was deputy president, as head of communications, and later special adviser on communications to the social development minister.
She has been director of communications for the communications department and spokeswoman for KwaZulu-Natal’s economic affairs and tourism MEC.
The COO position was created to allow the director general to concentrate on other responsibilities, including political support to President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
In her new role, effective from the beginning of next month, Kaunda would be the accounting officer for the presidency and be responsible for strategy, operations, and performance.
Kaunda, who has over 20 years’ experience in government and the media, holds a Master’s degree in South African politics and political economy and a post-graduate diploma in world politics.
“Her media career has included serving as editor of the Evening Post in Port Elizabeth and as assistant editor, deputy news editor and political reporter for the Natal Witness and Echo newspapers in Pietermaritzburg.”
She is also a former chairperson of the SA National Editors’ Forum. SAPA