Pressure mounts for Ramaphosa to downsize cabinet

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Pressure is mounting on President Cyril Ramaphosa to unveil a downsized cabinet, to illustrate that government is serious about cutting spending. South Africa’s cabinet is one of the largest in the world. It had 16 departments in 1996 and has since ballooned to 34, with 37 deputy ministers.

The size of the country’s cabinet has been growing since the late former president Nelson Mandela’s government.

Ramaphosa will be sworn in on 25 May after which he will appoint a new cabinet. ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe says the party will support a lean cabinet.

“Beyond these elections, we will continue and we will work harder and you know that President Ramaphosa committed himself to a smaller cabinet. We are hoping that that smaller cabinet will be based on performance and merit because it is only the capacity that is brought into the cabinet that will make the difference.”