President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced his new cabinet, along with significant changes to how it is structured – including cutting down the number of ministries from 36 to 28.
Before the restructuring, South Africa’s cabinet comprised 72 people, including the president, his deputy, ministers and deputy ministers – an outlier among countries of the same size and economy.
The new cabinet will now be made up of 64 members – including Ramaphosa, Mabuza, 28 ministers and 34 deputies.
The size of South Africa’s cabinet has ballooned over the years, from 50 members under former president Thabo Mbeki, to 72 members under Jacob Zuma.
In his address, Ramaphosa stressed that this was the start of a journey to the ideal “blueprint” cabinet, which will take time to implement in the coming years.
Several departments with similar mandates have been bundled into one. The departments that have been combined include:
- The department of trade industry and department of economic development;
- The department of higher education and the department of science and technology;
- The department of environmental affairs and the department of forestry and fisheries;
- The department of agriculture and the department of rural development and land reform;
- The department of mineral resources and the department of energy;
- The department human settlements and department of water and sanitation;
- The department of sports and the department of arts and culture.
Old vs new cabinet
When Cyril Ramaphosa was first elected as president of the country on 15 February 2018, he quickly announced a cabinet reshuffle on 26 February in which many ministers from the Zuma administration were removed from their posts.
However, due to the internal politics of the ANC – which was deeply divided over the election of its president – many controversial figures seen to be loyal to the previous president were retained.
A second cabinet reshuffle came in November 2018, following the death of minister Edna Molewa and the resignation of Malusi Gigaba.
With the new cabinet, several notable names are now absent – including Nomvula Mokonyane and Bathabile Dlamini, whose inclusion in the ANC’s parliamentary lists drew criticism due to accusations of corruption and maladministration levelled against them.
The table below outlines how the previous cabinet has changed, including the bundling of old ministries.
|Minister in the Presidency
|Minister in the Presidency: Women and Youth
|Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform
|Communication and Telecommunications
|Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
|Defence and Military Veterans
|Employment and Labour
|Forestry and Fisheries and Environmental Affairs
|Higher Education, Science and Technology
|Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation
|International Relations and Cooperation
|Justice and Correctional Services
Inkosi Phathekile Holomisa
|Mineral Resources and Energy
|Public Service and Administration
|Patricia de Lille
|Small Business Development
|Sports and Recreation, Arts and Culture
|Trade and Industry and Economic Development