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South Africa: How Cyril Ramaphosa Is Reshaping His Cabinet


As he works day and night to make his new Cabinet, here’s the top line: Most deputy positions face the axe, there’s a super-Presidency in the works and a ‘big bang’ announcement of departmental mergers is likely at the weekend.

Officials with knowledge of how President Cyril Ramaphosa is likely to reshape his Cabinet predict a “big-bang” approach which could see significant changes.

Departments will be merged to scrap ministries, most deputy minister positions are likely to be axed and the Presidency will be strengthened to make it a centre of government.

Ramaphosa is said to want to a “line of sight” over the state so that he has direct information on how governing priorities are performing. The Presidency has thrown a dragnet over communication on the new Cabinet, so sources have only been willing to speak to Daily Maverick off the record.

Popping the Zuma balloon

Former President Jacob Zuma ballooned his Cabinet to 36 ministers overseeing 45 departments and introduced deputy ministers into every portfolio; some even have two. Zuma did this to extend his patronage state and to keep onside the various factions of the ANC and its tripartite alliance partners — trade union federation Cosatu and…

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