President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Sumaya Hisham/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Sumaya Hisham/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)

Reduced Cabinet still on the cards as Ramaphosa meets ANC top 6

By MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA Time of article published May 28, 2019

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Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa used Monday’s meeting of the ANC’s top six as part of his consultation on his new Cabinet, which his office said he would announce later this week.

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe confirmed the meeting took place “on reconfiguration of the Cabinet and other matters the president deemed necessary”.

Pressed on the cutting down of the executive, Mabe said the number of ministries to be scrapped or merged was the prerogative of Ramaphosa.

Mabe would not be drawn on who would be on Ramaphosa’s executive team, which was expected to comprise men and women who were not tainted by allegations of wrongdoing.

“Any other issues about the people to be appointed will be communicated later in the week,” he said.

Mabe also said the governing party’s officials had reiterated the stance taken at last week’s special meeting of the party’s national executive committee, which supported the Cabinet reconfiguration to ensure efficiency in government, as well as improved delivery of service and inclusive growth.

On Monday, the SACP said there was in principle an understanding that the Cabinet should be reduced to eliminate duplication, other problems, enhance efficiency and therefore strictly ensure that the executive was fit for purpose.

“What is important for the SACP is the aggregate organisational capacity of the Cabinet to fulfil its functions, selflessly serve our people and attract national confidence,” spokesperson Alex Mashilo said.

He also said there had been alliance (ANC, SACP and Cosatu) interactions on the manifesto and other welcome decisions dating back to February. “This is an ongoing process of extensive consultation, which should be deepened as we proceed,” Mashilo said about consultations with Ramaphosa.

Cosatu was holding a three-day central executive committee, where election outcomes and Ramaphosa’s Cabinet would come under scrutiny. This came against the backdrop of the governing party’s integrity commission yesterday continuing to meet with leaders it flagged as having put the party into disrepute when it reviewed the organisation’s candidate lists to the National Assembly and provincial legislatures.

On Friday, Deputy President David Mabuza and ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe appeared before the commission in a bid to clear their names. The ANC national executive committee is scheduled to meet at the weekend to look at the integrity commission’s report and decide on the way forward.

Meanwhile, constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos said there was no constitutional implication for the delay in the announcement of the Cabinet. De Vos, however, said there was an obligation on Ramaphosa to appoint a Cabinet without a delay.

Earlier, Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said the soon-to-be appointed Cabinet would be leaner and more efficient, with the number of cabinet posts reduced. She also said Ramaphosa would on the day of the announcement of the Cabinet sign into law the new ministerial handbook.

Political Bureau

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