President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced his new cabinet, trimming the number of ministries from 36 to 28.
The reappointment of finance minister Tito Mboweni and minister of public enterprises Pravin Gordhan has been positively received by the market, with Ramaphosa also ditching controversial figures such as Nomvula Mokonyane and Bathabile Dlamini.
However, Ramaphosa also surprised with a number of appointments – including GOOD party leader Patricia De Lille who has been named minister of Public Works and Infrastructure.
Questions will also be raised as to whether Ramphosa has done enough in reforming the size of his cabinet, with certain departments now boasting two deputy ministers.
While the number of departments was reduced to 28, the actual cabinet was only reduced by 8 people.
The new cabinet will now be made up of 64 members (from 72 before) – including president Ramaphosa, deputy president David Mabuza, 28 ministers and 34 deputies.
These extra deputies will come at a cost for South African taxpayers as they are scheduled to receive R1,977,795 each in the 2018/19 financial year.
Ramaphosa’s new ministers are slated to earn R2,401,633 while returning deputy president David Mabuza is set to earn R2,825,470.
For comparison purposes, a normal member of the National Assembly (MP) will earn R1,106,940, while the leader of a minority party will earn R1,309,563.
Had the cabinet been kept the same (at 72 members, with 36 ministers and 34 deputies) the total cost – excluding the president – would have come to R156.5 million – thus Ramaphosa’s reduced cabinet only saved the country R19.2 million.
|Role||Monthly remuneration||Annual Remuneration||Total annual remuneration for all members|
|Deputy President||R235 455||R2 825 470||R2 825 470|
|Ministers (28)||R200 136||R2 401 633||R67 245 724|
|Deputy Ministers (34)||R164 816||R1 977 795||R67 245 030|
|Total||R137 316 224|
Ramaphosa’s new cabinet will also be entitled to a number of benefits as included in the ministerial handbook.
While the handbook’s contents are a closely guarded secret, AfricaCheck reports that some of the major perks include:
- Private cars – Members of cabinet get 25% of their salary towards a private vehicle, its running and maintenance as well as comprehensive insurance;
- Official vehicles – Ministers (and deputy ministers) are allowed to purchase one car for official use in Pretoria as well as one in Cape Town. The value of each vehicle cannot be more than 70% of their salary;
- Accommodation – Cabinet members can live free of charge in one state-owned residence in the capital of their choice. If they want to move into a second state-owned house for official purposes they must pay a ‘market related’ rent;
- Travel – Cabinet members and their spouses may book first class tickets for official international journeys. They are also both entitled to 30 single business class flights per year within South Africa. Dependent children get six single economy class flights per year;
- Other expenses – A cabinet members’ department can pay for all “reasonable” out-of-pocket expenses (“including gratuities and reading material, but excluding alcoholic beverages not consumed with a meal”) connected with the subsistence of the members, their spouses as well as family members who need to accompany them when travelling. Slips only need to be supplied “if at all possible”.