South Africa: Ramaphosa's Blindside - Patricia De Lille Made Minister While DA Cries Foul Play

President Cyril Ramaphosa announces his new cabinet on May 29, 2019.
analysis

Some analysts predicted that President Cyril Ramaphosa would reach across the political divide and allocate at least one spot in his Cabinet to an opposition politician. But few saw it coming that the opposition politician in question would be Good party leader Patricia de Lille, appointed to head a beefed-up Public Works portfolio. It did not take long for DA leaders to start alleging funny business.

Patricia de Lille has held many titles in her multi-coloured political career: Mayor of Cape Town, Western Cape MEC, Independent Democrats leader, Pan Africanist Congress MP, and most recently Good party leader.

Now, for the first time, she will add "Honourable Minister" to her CV.

When President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his Cabinet on Wednesday night, the greatest surprise among his executive picks was the news that De Lille would be the next Minister of Public Works -- or Public Works and Infrastructure, as the portfolio will now be known.

In adding responsibility for infrastructure to the Public Works portfolio, an already significant department has been given greater weight. The Ramaphosa administration has made it clear that infrastructure development will be one of the cornerstones of its economic stimulus programme, with plans for a R400-billion...

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