President Ramaphosa with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a new cabinet on Wednesday, 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.
He appointed veteran opposition politician Patricia de Lille, who had stood for the Good Party, as minister of infrastructure development.
The African National Congress party won a general election on 8 May.
On Thursday President Ramaphosa made a point of hosting the “take a girl child to work” day, where he told students he wanted to be a lawyer from a very young age. Many hope that the presence of women will help in poverty alleviation especially among rural women.
The most unexpected move was the appointment of the former Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. She set up the Good party after she was forced to resign from the opposition Democratic Alliance following an acrimonious power struggle.
Mr Ramaphosa reduced the amount of ministers in what he called a “bloated” cabinet from 36 to 28 ministers.
Former African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who narrowly lost the 2017 ANC leadership election to Mr Ramaphosa, and was seen as the candidate of former President Jacob Zuma, her former husband, also kept her place in cabinet.