South Africa: Horse-Trading and Compromises - Ramaphosa's Realpolitik Cabinet

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

With a strong nod to financial discipline and continuity, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday night named Tito Mboweni Finance Minister, while Pravin Gordhan retained Public Enterprises. Much was made of the trimming of ministries to 28 from 36, in 'a capable, efficient and ethical government', but the slim-down wasn't that significant given the 34 deputy ministers who remained. The new executive is a curious mix, revealed after days' of unprecedented delay -- and the outcome of behind-the-scenes haggling.

That Tito Mboweni has returned as Minister of Finance will reassure markets, not only in South Africa, but internationally. The rand liked it, after losses posted during the wait for the Cabinet announcement since President Cyril Ramaphosa's Saturday inauguration.

For Ramaphosa, the measure of continuity in the economic cluster for government is important. Announcing his executive, he talked of the need for getting off the ground a "modern, developmental state" to drive economic and social transformation and innovation. A state that could "direct effort and resources towards where they will have the greatest impact".

"It is therefore imperative that in all areas and spheres of government, we place priority on revitalising our economy while exercising the great care in the use of...

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