Ramaphosa to cut ‘bloated’ cabinet

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering his State of The Nation Address in Parliament. Image: EAS ALEXANDER
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering his State of The Nation Address in Parliament. Image: EAS ALEXANDER

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.

Ramaphosa said it was important that the size of government corresponds with an 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 currently 35 cabinet ministers and 37 deputy ministers‚ all allocated official houses for Cape Town and Pretoria with support staff stationed in the two cities.

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

Each of the cabinet ministers is currently earning more than R2-million a year while deputy ministers earn just over R1.9- million per annum.

X