'Will these ministers do things differently? The economy won't be fooled'

After an hour dealy, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his new, trimmed-down Cabinet for the sixth administration on Wednesday night.

The president has reduced the number of ministries from 36 to 28 and has combined some departments.

The departments which have been combined include - Trade and Industry with Economic Development, Higher Education and Training with Science and Technology, Environmental Affairs with Forestry and Fisheries, Agriculture with Land Reform and Rural Development, Mineral Resources with Energy, Sports and Recreation with Arts and Culture.

Read: Ramaphosa announces his new Cabinet, De Lille makes the team

To discuss Ramaphosa's announcement, Bongani Bingwa chats to Auwal Social Research Institute (Asri) research director Angelo Fick and Pan-African Investment and Research Services CEO Dr Iraj Abedian.

The announcement reflects the kind of negotiations that would have gone on behind the scenes between the African National Congress national executive committee and the alliance partners about precisely what strings are attached to the president's Cabinet.

Angelo Fick, Research director - Asri

He says there were some surprises in the Cabinet, but he wasn't surprised by the kind of composition of the Cabinet.

Also read: Minister Patricia de Lille describes getting 'the call' from the president

Patricia de Lille is a surprise, yes, but among other things, the shift of some ministers out of portfolios where some people felt they did OK work, was also a surprise. What did surprise me was the size of the Cabinet. Many thought that there would be a more significant shrinkage than there is, but to go from 36 to 28 is a mere 16% decrease which is not that big of a deal.

Angelo Fick, Research director - Asri

What we have is a Cabinet that reflects the tripartite alliance, and there would have been all sorts of negotiations.

Angelo Fick, Research director - Asri

Abedian says financial markets are familiar with Mboweni thus the rand strengthening slightly after the Cabinet announcement.

Financial markets are comfortable with Pravin Gordhan, who is a symbol of cleaning up state enterprises, and that is a comforting thing for the financial markets.

Dr Iraj Abedian, CEO - Pan-African Investment and Research Services

He adds that the Ministry of Employment and Labour currently looks cosmetic and needs to first create jobs in order to establish its new powers.

Historically, that department has not had a material impact on investment and job creation. The real challenge is, will this Cabinet do things differently?

Dr Iraj Abedian, CEO - Pan-African Investment and Research Services

Cosmetic changes will not fool the economy, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, will these ministers do things differently?

Dr Iraj Abedian, CEO - Pan-African Investment and Research Services

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