News / South Africa / Government

Molefe Seeletsa
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
7 Aug 2021
2:32 pm

Cabinet Reshuffle: Opposition questions why SA still has deputy ministers

Molefe Seeletsa

The newly appointed ministers and deputy ministers were sworn in at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday.

New Deputy Minister of Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo gets sworn in. Picture: Twitter / @GovernmentZA

While President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle confirmed the appointment of 10 new ministers, it also included 11 new deputy ministers and sparked a conversation whether deputies are still needed in government.

Ramaphosa announced new ministerial positions and a restructured national executive on Thursday night.

The President made four key changes affecting finance, defence, health and state security departments.

But some South Africans has since questioned the appointments of the deputy ministers.

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One of the reasons behind this might be due to the fact that deputy ministers are not considered as members of the Cabinet.

According to the Parliamentary Monitoring Group, while deputy ministers are not in Cabinet, they are required to assist the relevant Ministers in the execution of their duties.

Some, however, believe that there is no need for government departments to have deputy ministers.

‘Costly to the taxpayers’

Reacting on the reshuffle, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) called on Ramaphosa to do away with deputy ministers, who were costly to the taxpayers.

“The continued insistence on deputy ministers when we are told that government has no money is yet another demonstration that the ruling party conference factional squabbles are more important than delivering water, sanitation, housing and education to our people,” the party said.

READ MORE: Ramaphosa missed a chance to clean up, says DA on Cabinet reshuffle

Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, John Steenhuisen, also supported the idea of government departments not having deputy ministers.

“What was missing from tonight’s announcement was a plan to reduce the size of our bloated cabinet, and also to do away with the deputy ministers, of which some departments have multiples.

“We still have one of the largest cabinets in the world, and arguably one of the least productive. Instead, President Ramaphosa announced an increase in size by splitting the portfolios of Water and Sanitation, and Human Settlements,” the DA leader said on Twitter.

Here are the new deputy ministers in the executive:  

  • Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for state security: Zizi Kodwa
  • Second Deputy Minister of The Presidency: Pinky Kekana
  • Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform: Zoleka Capa
  • Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies: Philly Mapulane
  • Deputy Minister of Health: Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo
  • Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy: Nobuhle Nkabane
  • Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration: Chana Pilane-Majake
  • Deputy Minister of Small Business Development: Sdumo Dlamini
  • Deputy Minister of Transport: Sindisiwe Chikunga
  • Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation: Dikeledi Magadzi

The newly appointed ministers and deputy ministers were sworn in at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday.