File picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to trim the size of his Cabinet and departments will see the process finalised before the May 8 elections as the Department of Public Service and Administration has almost completed its report.

Ramaphosa had tasked Minister Ayanda Dlodlo to begin work on the process as early as last year. This week, her spokesperson confirmed the work was almost done.

Mava Scott maintained that the thinking behind the reconfiguration was to make the government more efficient.

When Ramaphosa took over in February 2018, he merged the Department of Telecoms and Postal Services with the Department of Communications. Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams was appointed Communications Minister.

Other departments are also expected to be merged.

It has been reported that a super economics ministry, to oversee the economic policy of government, will be established after the elections.

Speculation has also been rife that the Cabinet will be reduced from 35 to 25 ministries. The size of the Cabinet increased in 2009 from 28 ministries to 35 and 37 deputy ministers.

In the past, opposition parties also raised concerns about the Cabinet being bloated.

In his Budget speech earlier this year, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said the government would save more than R25 billion in its attempt to reduce the public sector wage bill.

The bill increased from R473billion in 2015 to R585bn this year and takes up almost 35% of the national budget.

The reduction would also enable government to compensate up to 16000 people who wish to take early retirement.

Further, speaking on Dlodlo’s plans, Scott said: “The work on the reconfiguration of government has been ongoing.

“A great deal of thinking has been around how to make government more efficient, looking at capacity and skills, what areas in the system could be integrated and/or merged to achieve the efficiencies,” he said

Scott added his department was not at liberty to indicate the number of departments that will be phased out.

Political Bureau