President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged in his first state of the nation address to streamline the Cabinet. The DA has since called for a long-delayed overhaul of the ministerial handbook, which details senior politicians’ entitlements. The handbook is a wonderful comic creation. The only obvious obstacle to profligacy it presents is that ministers and their spouses can pick flowers planted for ornamental purposes on ministerial estates only "after consulting horticulturists of the Department of Public Works". Although disruption of the gravy train would indeed be welcome, Ramaphosa has indicated that he is more interested in the capacity of the whole current "configuration of government" to deliver on policy objectives. A proactive, strategic and joined-up system of government is unlikely to be fashioned easily out of the current partial shambles. Two decades of tinkering — including a cabinet cluster system, national-provincial "MinMECs", implementation forums and a planning commission ...

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