Ramaphosa defends cabinet reshuffle amid criticism


South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa.

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has defended the increase in the number of ministers in the recent cabinet reshuffle.

Last week, the head of state increased the number of ministries to 30, from 28.

At the start of the administration in 2019, he had reduced the number of ministries from 34.

“There was therefore much criticism when, last week, we increased the number of ministries for the remainder of this administration to 30,” he admitted.

“Yet there has been little analysis of why we made these changes and whether they were necessary,” Ramaphosa added in his weekly letter on Monday.

He said the discussion had been reduced to a head counting exercise.

“It is argued by some that any decrease in the number of ministers is good and any increase is bad.”

Ramaphosa explained that the new ministries announced last week responded to South Africa’s current specific needs.

The highlight was the appointment of a Minister of Electricity.

“This is a temporary position and the minister will remain in office only for as long as it is necessary to resolve the crisis,” the president said.

The second new ministry is for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.

Ramaphosa said this arose from an appreciation that South Africa needs a dedicated focus on ensuring that government effectively implements the programmes that underpined priorities and is able to fix problems as they arise.

Earlier, the official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) slammed the reshuffle as adding more “fat cats” and showing no accountability.

“(It) is less a reshuffle and more a gratuitous bloating,” said John Steenhuisen, DA leader.

– CAJ News

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