Ramaphosa promises to cut bloated cabinet

16 February 2018 - 20:44 By Thabo Mokone
South Africa's newly minted President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his state of the nation address at Parliament in Cape Town on Friday evening.
South Africa's newly minted President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his state of the nation address at Parliament in Cape Town on Friday evening. 
Image: MIKE HUTCHINGS / POOL / AFP

President Cyril Ramaphosa wants to reduce the size of the cabinet and national government departments.

Ramaphosa made the dramatic announcement during the delivery of his state of the nation address before a joint sitting of Parliament.

He said it was important for the size of the government to respond to the efficient use of public funds.

"Growth‚ development and transformation depend on a strong and capable state.

"It is critical that the structure and size of the state is optimally suited to meet the needs of the people and ensure the most efficient allocation of public resources. We will therefore initiate a process to review the configuration‚ number and size of national government departments‚" he said.

The size of the current cabinet has long been criticised as too bloated and wasteful following its controversial expansion by former president Jacob Zuma in 2009.

Civil society bodies and opposition parties have also been calling for the size of the cabinet to be reduced.

There are 35 cabinet ministers and 37 deputy ministers‚ all allocated official houses – one in Cape Town and one in Pretoria - with support staff stationed in the two cities.

The running of the cabinet is estimated to cost the taxpayer up to R720-million per year.

Each of the cabinet ministers earns more than R2-million per year while deputy ministers earn just more than R1.9-million per year.

Newly-elected President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the state of the nation address on February 16 2018.


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