Ramaphosa unveils South Africa’s first gender-balanced cabinet 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a new cabinet in which, for the first time in the country’s history, half of all ministers are women. 

In another unexpected move, one of the women is from the opposition. 

Patricia de Lille, an opposition politician who has stood for the Good Party, has been appointed minister of infrastructure development.


South African Journalist Verashni Pillay told BBC Newsday that the move to have half of all cabinet posts occupied  by women was a “surprise”. But it shows that the head of state is “astute”, she said. 

Ramaphosa has reduced the amount of ministers in what he called a “bloated” cabinet from 36 to 28 ministers. 

The opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party said in a statement that the idea he had reduced the size of the cabinet was “the first sign of absolute dishonesty” because, at the same time, he had increased the number of deputy ministers. 

The President has pledged to root out corruption, but correspondents say eyebrows have been raised that he retained Deputy President David Mabuza. 

Mr Mabuza, a close ally of former President Jacob Zuma, denies allegations of involvement in political killings and illegal tenders. 

Ministers are due to be sworn in later today. 

Extracts from the BBC

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