Thapelo Lekabe

By Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist

Ebrahim Patel sworn in as MP just hours before Cabinet reshuffle

Patel has been serving in Cabinet for almost four years without being a MP.

Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel has been sworn in as a Member of Parliament (MP), just hours before President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to announce the reconfiguration of his Cabinet.

Patel has been serving in Cabinet for almost four years without being a MP.

Cabinet reshuffle

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Parliament’s spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo, confirmed on Twitter that Patel was sworn in on Monday morning, by National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula through a virtual platform.

Patel’s swearing-in as a MP has been seen as a signal that Ramaphosa is likely to appoint two new non-MPs to his Cabinet when he announces the changes to the national executive later on Monday evening.

Patel has been in his current ministerial role since 30 May 2019, and he replaces African National Congress (ANC) MP Linda Moss. Prior to 2019, Patel was the minister of economic development since 11 May 2009.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana was also sworn in as an MP last week, following the resignation of the ANC’s Mike Basopu. Godongwana was not a parliamentarian before he was appointed to Treasury in August 2021. 

According to the Constitution, the president may select no more than two ministers from outside of Parliament.

Deputy president

After weeks of speculation and suspense, Ramaphosa will announce changes to his Cabinet on Monday, at 7pm, with all eyes on which ministers he will retain or fire from the executive.

The appointment of the new electricity minister and the deputy president will be closely watched by South Africans, given the country’s crippling energy crisis and the resignation of David Mabuza last week.

ANC deputy president Paul Mashatile, who was sworn in as a MP earlier last month, is widely expected to take over Mabuza’s position at the Union Buildings in Tshwane.

Mashatile was elected ANC deputy president after Mabuza declined nomination for the ANC’s deputy presidency at the governing party’s 55th national conference in December.

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