SUCCESS STORY: President Cyril Ramaphosa tours the Mercedes-Benz Learning Academy in East London. Picture: GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa is considering reviewing the number of provinces, after the ANC urged him to address the issue, because of the state’s poor delivery capacity.

The ANC resolved at its conference in December that Ramaphosa must set up a commission of inquiry to determine the number of provinces.

His spokesperson, Khusela Diko, said yesterday that work has already started in this regard.

“Work has already been done to fulfil the resolution, including the enhancement of the capacity of the state.

“This includes the reconfiguration of the state,” said Diko.

It has been reported that some in the ANC wanted the number of provinces reduced from nine to six, a move the ANC postulates would strengthen the capacity of the state.

It would be achieved by merging some of the provinces.

But opposition parties have accused the ruling party of trying to consolidate power through these mergers.

They see it as a strategy that would give the ruling party more power in provinces where it does not currently have strong support.

Ramaphosa said in his inaugural State of the Nation Address in February that he would reconfigure the size of the cabinet, which has increased since 2009 from about 28 ministers to 35 ministers and 37 deputy ministers.

The opposition has called the cabinet bloated.

Ramaphosa has said he would consider reducing his cabinet and departments.

Recently, he said in Parliament that work was in progress in this regard and he was chairing a committee spearheading the process.

He has not said which departments would be axed and which would be merged.

It has been suggested that the basic and higher education departments would be merged as this was the case previously.

Some departments were merged with others 10 years ago and new ones created.

Ramaphosa has not given a deadline for finishing his work on the reconfiguration of the state.

However, it is expected if the ANC wins the elections next year he will announce a smaller cabinet with some departments scrapped.

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Sunday Independent