South Africa’s Ramaphosa to announce new cabinet at 8 p.m.: presidency

May 29, 2019

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa will announce his new cabinet at 8:00 p.m. local time (1800 GMT), his spokeswoman said on Wednesday, two weeks after his ruling African National Congress (ANC) saw its majority cut in national elections.

Ramaphosa is expected to announce a smaller cabinet, with several appointments – notably to the finance, energy and mining ministries and the deputy presidency – likely to be closely scrutinized.

The delay in announcing a new cabinet after the May 8 vote and his inauguration at the weekend has put markets on edge, worsened by the delay in the swearing-in to parliament of deputy president David Mabuza, after he was cleared by the ANC of bringing the party into disrepute.

On Tuesday Mabuza was finally sworn in, sending the rand to a two-month low.

Mabuza had requested the delay to clear his name before an ANC integrity commission following allegations of impropriety during his decade-long premiership of the mineral-rich eastern Mpumalanga province.

By Wednesday the currency had tumbled to a five-month trough, in part reflecting worries that Mabuza could taint Ramaphosa’s promise of reform.

Ramaphosa’s narrow victory in an ANC leadership election in late 2017, when he replaced scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma, is seen as continuing to constrain his ability to push through reforms as factions inside the party jostle for influence.

(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; editing by John Stonestreet)

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