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The Government Reduction Proposal; A Plan to Strengthen South African Economy?

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

A significant economic change may be on the horizon, as the National Treasury of South Africa has drawn up several potential plans to consolidate the number of government departments. According to sources, a confidential meeting was recently held in Stellenbosch to discuss these proposals. Among the meeting's attendees were President Cyril Ramaphosa, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, and influential individuals from the National Treasury and the Reserve Bank.

Reports suggest that if executed, these propositions could cut governmental spending by approximately R17 billion, though this fiscal relief comes with the threat of job losses. The specifics of these proposed modifications remain undisclosed for now. However, the critical fact remains that any attempt to substantially reduce the number of government departments may spark opposition, especially within the ANC and the incumbent administration.

Recent analysis by the Daily Investor indicates that President Ramaphosa's current cabinet surpasses in size those of larger and wealthier nations, such as the United States, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom. As of March 2023, with the addition of the Minister for Electricity and Minister for Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation, the total number of ministries increased to 30.

Public Service and Administration Shadow Minister from DA, Leon Schreiber, criticized the inflated size of the cabinet, blaming it for costing taxpayers billions of rands. Schreiber strives to promote DA's governmental plan articulated in its Vision 2019 document, suggesting the formation of a leaner cabinet composed of only 15 ministries. He argues that such a restructuring could result in annual savings of nearly R5 billion.

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