The reconfiguration of the cabinet was always going to be decidedly difficult political terrain for President Cyril Ramaphosa to navigate. His small cabinet reshuffle last week provided a taste of what is to come. Should the ANC receive an overwhelming mandate in next year’s elections it would allow him to craft the state in his own image, so to speak. So far, it seems he is taking a pragmatic approach to the reconfiguration question. Last week he announced that the ministries of communications and telecommunications & postal services would be combined into a single ministry under new minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Ramaphosa was clear that his reshuffle had an economic focus, saying the aim was better alignment and co-ordination on matters critical to the economy in the context of the fourth industrial revolution. The reshuffle was necessary after the resignation of home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba and the death of environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa. Gigaba resigned th...

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