Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has named his cabinet — just about 96 hours after he was sworn-in as president.
On May 11, 2019, Ramaphosa’s African National Congress (ANC) won the elections with only 57 percent of the votes, and was sworn in as president on May 25, 2019.
In another 96 hours, Ramaphosa named his cabinet and became the third president on the continent to have a gender-balanced cabinet, after Rwanda and Ethiopia.
While addressing the press on Wednesday evening at the Union Buildings in the capital city of Tshwane, Ramaphosa revealed that he had cut cabinet down the number of ministries in the country from 36 to 28.
The cabinet announced by the 66-year-old president had 14 men and 14 women to achieve gender parity.
“To promote greater coherence, better coordination and improved efficiency, we (are) reducing the number of ministers from 36 to 28,” Ramaphosa said.
“This is a significant move of downscaling our state. Many people believed our government was bloated and this was agreed right across the board. All South Africans are acutely aware of the great economic difficulties our country has been experiencing.
“It is, therefore, imperative we place priority on revitalising our economy while exercising the greatest care in the use of public funds. For the first time in the history of our country, half of all ministers are women.”
Patricia De Lille, the leader of an opposition party and former mayor of Cape Town, was also named as minister of public works and infrastructure.
Reacting to her appointment, De Lille said: “I am deeply honoured and humbled to have received the call to serve as a Minister of South Africa’s new cabinet. I have fought for justice in our country for more than 40 years and have no plans to give up fighting.”
The South African rand reacted positively to Ramaphosa’s cabinet, strengthening by 0.5 percent, after an initial loss of one percent before he named the ministers.