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State disputes cost of new ministries

Johannesburg - New government ministries will not cost R40 million as claimed, acting government spokeswoman Phumla Williams said on Friday.

President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet now includes ministries of water and sanitation, telecommunications and postal services, and small business development. Three departments have two deputy ministers each.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Sumaya Hisham. Credit: Reuters

In a statement, Williams denied reports that Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene put the cost of the expanded Cabinet at R40m while answering parliamentary questions by Democratic Alliance MP Malcolm Figg.

“I find the reporting misleading, as the minister did not mix his words when he said the money would come from existing budgets, 'mostly through expenditure reprioritisation',” she said.

“This is by no means a suggestion of an extra burden from the taxpayers.”

The restructured Cabinet aimed to make the government more efficient in delivering services and its priorities.

“The budget votes that will soon be presented in Parliament will provide a clear picture of how the government departments will deliver on their mandates,” Williams said.

Sapa

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