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Ramaphosa is said to mull economy super ministry

Nov 20 2018 15:04
Sam Mkokeli, Bloomberg

President Cyril Ramaphosa may create a super ministry for economic policy as part of an overhaul of the nation’s executive, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The new ministry will combine various economic departments, including the National Treasury, to simplify policy formulation and avoid the duplication of roles, said the people who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public. The reassessment of the size of the Cabinet will dovetail with a review of the role state-owned companies play in the economy, they said.

SA hasn’t expanded at more than 2% annually since 2013 and fell into recession in the second quarter.

Ramaphosa announced a stimulus plan in September to boost growth. Changes that help reduce state spending would placate investors who monitor the nation’s budget deficit.

Ramaphosa, 66, made several changes to the Cabinet after he took power in February when Jacob Zuma resigned.

While he didn’t cut any ministerial positions, he said in his State of the Nation address that month the configuration, number and size of national government departments will be reviewed.

Vacant posts

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba resigned last week, creating a second vacancy in cabinet after the death of Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa in September. He’s unlikely to fill those posts, the people said.

Ramaphosa has tasked politicians already in the executive to oversee the two departments. Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom now also acts as the minister for the environment and Transport Minister Blade Nzimande doubles up as head of home affairs.

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