The Democratic Alliance leader, Mmusi Maimane

CAPE TOWN  - Cutting the current cabinet of 35 ministers to 15, could save South Africa about R4.7 billion, said the Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane in the State Of The Nation Address debate in parliament on Monday.

In his speech, the president hinted at merging some departments to reduce the size of the cabinet, which has been criticised for being bloated and stacked with former president Jacob Zuma’s loyalists.

"It is critical that the structure and size of the state are optimally suited to meet the needs of the people. We will, therefore, initiate a process to review the configuration, number, and size of national government departments," he said.

Maimane has urgently called on Ramaphosa to fire all ministers who are allegedly implicated in the state capture. This opposition party leader said they will support Ramaphosa on decisions he takes to mend the "broken state" and build a capable nation. The Human Settlements Ministers Lindiwe Sisulu argued that South Africa is not a broken state, it is just experiencing problems just like any other country would.

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Maimane further said that the monopolistic generation of power by the state-run Eskom must now come to an end, the government should embrace distribution of power generation through the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and other formations.

“We will intervene decisively to stabilise and revitalise state-owned enterprises,” Ramaphosa said, citing the recent overhaul of the Eskom board. He showed a clear intent to rein in corrupt officials in government and state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Ramaphosa's maiden speech on Friday was well welcomed by several opposition parties and saying that the new president has presented new hope for the country. 

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