Ebrahim Patel, South Africa’s trade minister, speaks during the South Africa Investment Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Thursday, April 13, 2023. Today’s conference starts as data this week showed that the South African economy has probably entered a technical recession. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

JOHANNESBURG, May 24 (Reuters) – South Africa’s trade, industry and competition minister Ebrahim Patel said on Friday he will retire from cabinet after the May 29 national election, the latest longstanding economics figure from the ruling African National Congress to step down from government.

Patel’s department oversees a number of regulatory and financial development agencies, including the competition commission which would have a say in any potential new bid by BHP Group BHP.AX for Anglo American AAL.L.

“It has been a great honour to serve my country as a member of cabinet for 15 years and three terms of office,” Patel said in a statement. “I have advised the President that I will conclude my service in cabinet at the end of this third term.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Patel as trade minister in 2019. Prior to this, he was the Minister of Economic Development.

South Africa’s Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan also announced in March that he would not be available to serve in the next national executive after the election.

Gordhan oversees state entities including struggling power utility Eskom and logistics firm Transnet, whose poor performances have dragged down South Africa’s economic growth.

Ramaphosa’s ANC is at risk of losing its parliamentary majority for first time since 1994, according to polls.


(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Toby Chopra)