Ramaphosa may reduce cabinet departments, deputy ministries

2019-05-15 17:06:24

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa could reduce his national executive by as many as nine departments and ministries when he announces the reconfiguration of his cabinet soon.

Various unverified lists are being circulated, with Ramaphosa under pressure to omit controversial ministers including Bathabile Dlamini and Nomvula Mokonyane.

MPs will be sworn in during a special session of the National Assembly next week, when Ramaphosa will also be elected head of state. His inauguration takes place three days later. His current term as president will not count as a full term of office and he remains eligible to serve two terms, as per the Constitution.

The appointment of Cabinet is the prerogative of the president, but he will only do so after consultation with the ANC's leadership and discussions with the party's alliance partners, the SACP, Cosatu and Sanco.

Although there is no official word from the Union Buildings on when Ramaphosa will announce the changes to his executive, discussions are taking place inside Luthuli House and the broader governing alliance on who should be sent to Cabinet.

SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo confirmed the organisation is preparing a formal presentation to the ANC ahead of the Cabinet announcement.

Ramaphosa, who reshuffled the Cabinet he inherited from former president Jacob Zuma, currently presides over an executive of 34 ministers and 34 departments, as well as 34 deputy ministers (some departments have two, others none).

After coming into office in 2018 he promised to audit the size and effectiveness of the executive, appointing a task team to advise him on a future reconfiguration.