Review of executive under way, says Ramaphosa

2018-05-25 16:09
President Cyril Ramaphosa (Photo: Ruvan Boshoff, AFP)

President Cyril Ramaphosa (Photo: Ruvan Boshoff, AFP)

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President Cyril Ramaphosa's review of the national executive and government departments has begun, the Presidency announced on Friday.

The aim is for implementation to take place after next year's election, when the sixth administration comes into office.

In effect, the review could lead to fewer ministers and less government departments.

In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in February, Ramaphosa gave an undertaking that the configuration, number and size of national government departments would be reassessed.

Cutting Cabinet

The matter was also raised by opposition parties during Wednesday's debate on the Presidency's budget. The DA especially, called for a reduced Cabinet.

In his reply to the budget debate on Thursday, Ramaphosa said: "Madame Speaker, a number of speakers touched on the crucial issue of governance and the need to build a capable, developmental state."

"Some honourable members would have us believe that this is simply a matter of the size of the Cabinet. It is much more than that."

WATCH: 'The Reserve Bank should be an independent entity' - Ramaphosa

He said the reconfiguration of the state was a far greater and more ambitious undertaking that had to go to the heart of the capacity of government to meet the country's developmental needs.

"We need to address issues of structure - not just of national departments, but of all spheres and all public institutions," he said. 

"We also need to address issues of efficiency and resource allocation."

A strong and capable state

According to the Presidency's statement, Ramaphosa said in the SONA that growth, development and transformation depended on a strong and capable state.

"Furthermore, the President said it was critical that the structure and size of the state was optimally suited to meet the needs of the people and ensure the most efficient allocation of public resources."

Ramaphosa provided further details on the review process in a written reply to a parliamentary question submitted by DA MP David Maynier.

In his answer to Maynier, Ramaphosa said a technical task team of officials from several departments was reviewing the configuration of the national government. The departments are the Presidency; the Department of Public Service and Administration; the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation; the National Treasury; and the Department of Cooperative Governance. The Presidency is the lead department.

"A review of previous and current configurations is still in progress, with the view to establishing the synergy between the Constitution and legislation on one hand and the national macro-organisation of the national government, on the other. A preliminary analysis has been concluded," his answer read.

"The review will be concluded after due political consultations, in time for implementation in the sixth administration."

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