President Cyril Ramaphosa Picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters
The work to cut down the size of the Cabinet has begun in earnest after President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed a committee that will deal with the reconfiguration of the state.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, confirmed work was already underway.

However, changes to the bloated Cabinet will only come into effect after the next elections.

Ramaphosa committed during his State of the Nation Address in February that he will reduce the size of the Cabinet.

He did not say how many departments would be chopped, but speculation is rife that some will be merged and others chopped.

Opposition parties have already said the Cabinet was too bloated and was costing the state billions each year.

“A committee dealing with this has been set up and it is led by the Director-General in the Presidency, Cassius Lubisi, and is working with the Department of Public Service and Administration on how we organise the government,” said Diko.

She would not say how soon the committee would start giving reports on its work, only that the work would have to be done before the next term of government.

The elections are expected to happen in the first half of next year.

It is believed the Department of Basic Education will be merged with Higher Education, while the Department of Small Business Development is expected to be absorbed back into the Department of Trade and Industry.

There are currently 35 ministers and 37 deputy ministers, which is expected to be cut down to 25 ministers.

The Cabinet was expanded after the 2009 elections during Jacob Zuma’s reign.

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