EFF leader Julius Malema has demanded that President Cyril Ramaphosa reduce his cabinet drastically or else there will be consequences.
Although the president has previously indicated that he would do so after appointing a technical task team from various departments – to review and eventually scale-down the size of government departments as well as the national executive – Malema on Thursday reiterated that it was a necessary execution "in order to save taxpayers' money".
“We demand that Ramaphosa must reduce his cabinet and do away with deputy ministers. If he doesn’t do this, it will be a declaration of war and we shall respond decisively. Parliament is no playground and its teeth will bite whenever necessary,” said Malema, who was speaking publicly for the first time since the Independent Electoral Commission announced the official election results last week.
Malema's demand comes a day after Ramaphosa indicated to investors that his first task as the country's president would be to reconfigure his cabinet to kick-start SA's economy. Despite Ramaphosa's commitment, the red berets said Ramaphosa's presidency will be uncomfortable if he fails to adhere to their demand.
There are currently 35 cabinet ministers and 37 deputy ministers‚ all allocated official houses in both Cape Town and Pretoria. They also have support staff stationed in the two cities.
Ramaphosa is expected to be inaugurated as the country's president on May 25 should he successfully be elected in the national assembly, and will announce his new cabinet thereafter.