S.Africa's cabinet could cost taxpayers billions

A third of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) parliamentarians are in Zuma’s overstuffed cabinet either as ministers or deputy ministers.

(READ MORE: Gordhan draws hard line on cabinet expenditure)

Jannie Rossouw, head of the Economic and Business Sciences School at the University of the Witwatersrand said the cabinet would unnecessarily cost the country over a billion rand per year in salaries.

Zuma appointed Lindiwe Zulu, his former international relations advisor to a new ministry, the small business development, generating attacks especially from members of the academia.

“I don’t think we are going to see any rewards, as it stands we have 35 ministers and 37 deputies,” Rossouw told CNBC Africa.

Small, medium and micro-entreprises contribute more than 40 per cent of total GDP and account for more than 60 per cent of all employment in South Africa.

“Rather than having a ministry of small, medium and micro-enterprise costing the country 30 million rand, it would be better to take that amount and start a seed fund for small businesses from which they can borrow and start business.”

Rossouw added that, it would take the current cabinet a year for each minister to figure out his or her responsibilities as the cabinet was too large.

“The minister should deregulate the labour market for small businesses and get rid of red tape that small businesses are subject to.”

However, Xolani Qubeka, chief executive officer of the Small Business Development Institute said it was important for industry players to give the ministry time to formulate necessary policies to make this department effective.

“As this is a new ministry it is important for the minister to spend some time consulting so as to ensure the bases under which the ministry is operating from,” Qubeka said.

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“We need to look at all instruments aimed at economic transformation and economic development so as to make sure that every piece of legislation talks to what we need to achieve.”