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In appointing his new Cabinet, President Cyril Ramaphosa made it clear that it was important to shrink the “bloated government”. As a result, he combined a number of departments of the economic cluster and appointed new ministers.
Announcing his new Cabinet at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday evening, Ramaphosa said the number of ministers would be reduced from 36 to 28 in an effort to improve efficiency.
Notably, the trade and industry department has been merged with the economic development, which Ebrahim Patel will lead as minister. He will have two deputies, Fikile Majola and Nomalungelo Gina.
The energy and mineral resources ministries will also be merged and will be led by Gwede Mantashe, with Bavelile Hlongwa as deputy minister.
The labour department has been expanded and will be known as the department of labour and employment. Thulas Nxesi will now lead the department, with Boitumelo Moloi as deputy minister.
In making his appointments, Ramaphosa said it was necessary to deploy people who are “committed, capable and hard-working, and who have integrity”.
“In appointing a new national executive, I have taken a number of considerations into account, including experience, continuity, competence, generational mix and demographic and regional diversity,” Ramaphosa said.
He also thanked outgoing ministers for the work they had done in serving the country in the fifth administration.
“We continue to value their experience, skills and contribution, and will give them suitable responsibilities where they will be able to serve the nation,” he said.
These are the ministers who will not be part of Ramaphosa’s Cabinet:
Radebe spent the last few months in the fifth administration, following Ramaphosa’s appointment as president, as energy minister – having served in as a minister in various departments since 1994. He was appointed by former president Jacob Zuma as minister in the presidency. Between 2009 and 2014, he was minister of justice and constitutional development. He served as transport minister between 2004 and 2009, was minister of public enterprises between 1999 and 2004, and was minister of public works between 1994 and 1999.
Oliphant will not be returning as labour minister. She was appointed labour minister by former president Jacob Zuma in 2010. During her tenure, the national minimum wage was signed into law.
Davies was appointed as trade and industry minister by former president Jacob Zuma in 2009. He was previously deputy minister of trade and industry between 2004 and 2009. Most recently, he has been working to pin down an arrangement with the UK to continue trade relations with SA following Brexit. He has also negotiated with US representatives to relax steel tariffs.