Two deputy finance ministers likely for functional reasons – analyst

Enoch Godongwana retained his position as finance minister. Photographer: Henk Kruger / Independent Newspapers

Enoch Godongwana retained his position as finance minister. Photographer: Henk Kruger / Independent Newspapers

Published Jul 1, 2024


Sunday’s announcement of the Cabinet by President Cyril Ramaphosa has shown the ANC to have retained powerful departments.

The portfolios of both trade, industry and competition, and National Treasury are seen as the levers of development in the country.

These appointments meant that the ANC managed to get the lion’s share (62.5%) of Cabinet positions excluding the president, deputy president, and deputy minister portfolios (76.7%).

Enoch Godongwana retained his position as finance minister as well as his deputy David Masondo.

Godongwana would, however, have two deputy ministers in this administration: The newly appointed deputy minister Ashor Sarupen is also a DA deputy federal executive chairperson.

Sarupen is set to be equally up to the task as he is well-versed in financial management.

Stakeholders in the financial sector said financial markets and investors would be extremely happy with the reappointment of Godongwana as finance minister and Masondo as his deputy.

Even though many ministers were reshuffled, Ramaphosa opted for continuity in appointing ministers, with some old names making a comeback in the 7th administration, particularly in the economic cluster of the Cabinet.

Under the previous administration, both Godongwana and Masondo worked to stabilise public finances by cutting government spending, stabilising debt that stood at R5.5 trillion and weaning state-owned enterprises such as Eskom and Transnet off more taxpayer-funded bailouts.

One of the pairs’ greatest accomplishments was forging ahead with structural economic reforms aimed at changing the fabric of the economy by implementing some pro-growth and investment reforms.

These reforms also promote the private sector’s participation in key sectors of the economy such as energy and logistics.

Speaking to The Star on Monday on the rationale behind Ramaphosa’s decision to appoint two deputy finance ministers, political analyst André Duvenage said the reason could be functional considerations, adding that the main consideration was representativity.

“I think the president was trying to accommodate diverse groups in the interests within the context of the ANC, coalition, the family of the ANC, gender and identity,” Duvenage said.

The president’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said the ministers’ swearing-in ceremony was set for Tuesday.