South Africa


Ramaphosa cuts Cabinet from 36 to 28 ministers, half of whom are women

Ramaphosa cuts Cabinet from 36 to 28 ministers, half of whom are women
President Cyril Ramaphosa announces his new cabinet on 29 May 2019. Photo: GCIS

After a day of consultation, President Cyril Ramaphosa finally announced his Cabinet on Wednesday evening, sticking to his promise to slash the bloated executive. David Mabuza and Pravin Gordhan will keep their positions in a Cabinet that will see Patricia de Lille become a minister, while a number of ANC veterans didn’t make the cut.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has slashed the number of ministers from 36 to 28 after combining a number of departments in the process of reconfiguring the state, which he said was still ongoing.

Ramaphosa announced his Cabinet at the Union Buildings on Wednesday evening after he consulted with the ANC’s alliance partners throughout the day.

Every president since 1994 has named his Cabinet the day after their inauguration but controversies over whether David Mabuza should remain deputy president after being questioned by the ANC’s integrity committee and whether Pravin Gordhan should remain in Cabinet after an adverse finding by the Public Protector were reported to have delayed Ramaphosa’s announcement.

Photo: Some of the ministers in Ramaphosa’s new canbinet:

Mabuza retained his position while Gordhan was reappointed as the Minister of Public Enterprises, where he is seen as integral to Ramaphosa’s attempts to tackle the legacy of graft at state-owned entities.

The president made a number of surprising choices, particularly by appointing Good party leader Patricia de Lille as minister of public works and infrastructure. De Lille formerly served as mayor of Cape Town and a leader of the DA before she had a falling-out with the party.

Former ministers facing allegations of incompetence and corruption such as Bathabile Dlamini won’t return to the executive. The likes of Nomvula Mokonyane and Malusi Gigaba had already declined to become MPs. David Mahlobo, known for defending former president Jacob Zuma as State Security minister, made a surprising return as Deputy Minister for Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation.

ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe, linked to allegations surrounding the Bosasa scandal, retained his position at Mineral Resources, but will now have greater powers after his department was merged with the Department of Energy.

Ramaphosa announced plans to reduce the size of the Cabinet during his first State of the Nation address in 2018. The number of ministers had jumped from 29 during former president Thabo Mbeki’s administration to 36 under Zuma.

This is a significant move of downscaling our state. Many people believed that our government, which is meant to serve 57 million people, was bloated and this was agreed right across the board,” said the president on Wednesday evening.

Let me immediately state, a reconfigured state is an ideal, but we also see it as a process. It is a process that should finally lead us to the blueprint type of government that we all seek.”

The president emphasised that for the first time, half of all ministers were now women.

Ramaphosa merged departments with similar responsibilities: Trade and Industry was combined with Economic Development; Higher Education with Science and Technology; Environmental Affairs with Forestry and Fisheries; Agriculture with Land Reform and Rural Development; Mineral Resources with Energy; Human Settlements with Water and Sanitation; and Sport and Recreation with Arts and Culture.

The Cabinet includes a number of new ministers such as Ronald Lamola, a former ANCYL deputy president who campaigned for Ramaphosa before the ANC’s Nasrec conference, who was appointed Minister of Justice and Correctional Services. Barbara Creecy, former Gauteng finance MEC, was appointed as Minister of Environment, Forestries and Fisheries.

While Ramaphosa’s new Cabinet appears to favour those who supported his run for the ANC presidency, particularly in the deputy ministerial posts, it includes a balance of members of different ANC factions. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who Ramaphosa beat for the ANC presidency, was appointed Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Long-serving minister Jeff Radebe didn’t get a slot. Neither did former Tourism minister Derek Hanekom, who came out in support of Ramaphosa ahead of the Nasrec conference.

Other ministers were retained but moved to new posts: Blade Nzimande went from Transport to Higher Education, Science and Technology; Aaron Motsoaledi went from Health to Home Affairs; Zweli Mkhize will move from Co-operative Governance to Health.

If we are to make effective progress in building the South Africa that we all yearn for and the South Africa that we all want, it is important that we deploy into positions of responsibility people who are committed, people who are capable and people who have integrity,” said Ramaphosa. DM

Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet

  • The Deputy President is David Mabuza.

  • The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development is Thoko Didiza.

  • The Deputy Ministers are Sdumo Dlamini and Mcebisi Skwatsha.

  • The Minister of Basic Education is Angie Motshekga.

  • The Deputy Minister is Dr Regina Mhaule.

  • The Minister of Communications is Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

  • The Deputy Minister is Pinky Kekana.

  • The Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs is Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

  • The Deputy Ministers are Parks Tau and Obed Bapela.

  • The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans is Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

  • The Deputy Minister is Thabang Makwetla.

  • The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries is Barbara Creecy.

  • The Deputy Minister is Maggie Sotyu.

  • The Minister of Employment and Labour is Thulas Nxesi.

  • The Deputy Minister is Boitumelo Moloi.

  • The Minister of Finance is Tito Mboweni.

  • The Deputy Minister is Dr David Masondo.

  • The Minister of Health is Dr Zwelini Mkhize.

  • The Deputy Minister is Dr Joe Phaahla.

  • The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology is Dr Blade Nzimande.

  • The Deputy Minister is Buti Manamela.

  • The Minister of Home Affairs is Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.

  • The Deputy Minister is Njabulo Nzuza.

  • The Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation is Lindiwe Sisulu.

  • The Deputy Ministers are Pam Tshwete and David Mahlobo.

  • The Minister of International Relations and Co-operation is Dr Naledi Pandor.

  • The Deputy Ministers are Alvin Botes and Candith Mashego-Dlamini.

  • The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services is Ronald Lamola.

  • The Deputy Ministers are John Jeffery and Inkosi Phathekile Holomisa.

  • The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy is Gwede Mantashe.

  • The Deputy Minister is Bavelile Hlongwa.

  • The Minister of Police is General Bheki Cele.

  • The Deputy Minister is Cassel Mathale.

  • The Minister in the Presidency is Jackson Mthembu.

  • The Deputy Minister in the Presidency is Thembi Siweya.

  • The Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities is Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

  • The Deputy Minister is Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize.

  • The Minister of Public Enterprises is Pravin Gordhan.

  • The Deputy Minister is Phumulo Masualle.

  • The Minister of Public Service and Administration is Senzo Mchunu.

  • The Deputy Minister is Sindy Chikunga.

  • The Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure is Patricia De Lille.

  • The Deputy Minister is Noxolo Kiviet.

  • The Minister of Small Business Development is Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.

  • The Deputy Minister is Rosemary Capa.

  • The Minister of Social Development is Lindiwe Zulu.

  • The Deputy Minister is Henrietta Bogopane-Zulu.

  • The Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture is Nathi Mthethwa.

  • The Deputy Minister is Nocawe Mafu.

  • The Minister of State Security is Ayanda Dlodlo.

  • The Deputy Minister is Zizi Kodwa.

  • The Minister of Tourism is Nkhensani Kubayi-Ngubane.

  • The Deputy Minister is Fish Mahlalela.

  • The Minister of Trade and Industry is Ebrahim Patel.

  • The Deputy Ministers are Fikile Majola and Nomalungelo Gina.

  • The Minister of Transport is Fikile Mbalula.

  • The Deputy Minister is Dikeledi Magadzi.


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