Nice one Cyril: Cabinet trimmed and continuity for business

The media has become used to waiting for presidential announcements. And endured a 50 minute heel-kicking exercise last night. But this time it was well worthwhile.

The investment community had been nervous about the possible replacement of finance minister Tito Mboweni and public enterprises boss Pravin Gordhan. The former because of his fierce independence; the latter because of health and age. But both are back. Reappointments which helped the Rand gain 20c from its worst point of the day.

Also welcomed was the cut in the number of ministries from 36 to 28, including the welcome expansion of Ebrahim Patel’s Economic Affairs portfolio to include Trade and Industry. Adding to the theme of continuity which business applauds, Gwede Mantashe got Energy added to his existing Mining portfolio.

Easily the biggest surprise was the introduction of an outsider, former Democratic Alliance heavyweight and GOOD party founder Patricia de Lille, as Public Works minister. From first impressions, it’s a group selected to fulfil Ramaphosa’s promise of hard-working, servant leaders. And there’s not a Zuptoid in sight. Hope springs.