Ramaphosa hopes economic cluster revamp boosts struggling economy

In the reconfiguration of the Cabinet, the president created a new ministry of Labour and Employment.

FILE: Thulas Nxesi, the Labour and Employment Minister. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – As the sixth administration under the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa begins to take shape following Wednesday night’s Cabinet announcement, work now looks set to begin in earnest to tackle the struggling economy.

The amalgamation of Trade and Industry and Economic Development and the return of Tito Mboweni in the crucial Finance Ministry are just some of the steps Ramaphosa hopes will boost the public purse.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the composition of the national executive at the Union Buildings.  He revealed that the number of Cabinet portfolios would be trimmed down from 36 to 28.

Last month, the International Monetary Fund lowered South Africa’s 2019 projected gross domestic product growth rate from 1.4% to 1.2%.

The economy and the jobs crisis were at the top of Ramaphosa’s priority list and until Wednesday it was not clear how he would go about turning the tide on the crisis.

In the reconfiguration of the Cabinet, the president created a new ministry of Labour and Employment.

There are ten million South Africans who are unemployed, with the youth constituting half of those affected.

Former unionist and Minister of Public Works Thulas Nxesi will be responsible for the Labour and Employment Ministry that houses the multi-billion rand Unemployment Insurance Fund and the compensation fund.

A new entrant to the Cabinet, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, who was a former municipal manager at a Limpopo municipality and businesswoman, oversees the Small Business Development Ministry.

While Mboweni returns to the Cabinet, he is now joined in the Finance Ministry by David Masondo, who was the CEO of the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC).

The president said that the ministers and deputies are now responsible for carrying out the expectations of South Africans, which he said have never been greater.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)