There has been a nationwide call that the cost of running and maintaining government is expensive and a burden on the tax payers.

The president  wants to merge ministries, get rid of deputy ministers, and reduce the number of provinces in South Africa as measures to cut costs.

This is according to reports in the City Press and the Sunday Times, which said these are measures to cut the public wage bill and make the government run more efficiently.

The City Press reported that Ramaphosa is planning to collapse a number of departments and form a “powerful economic department”.

This economic department is set to be formed by a “merger of the departments of small business, trade and industry, tourism, and economic development”.

The president will “dramatically cut the 34-member cabinet after the elections”, which, according to the Sunday Times, should be made up of only 25 ministers and 15 deputy ministers.

“This will reduce the size of the executive he inherited from Jacob Zuma from 72 to 40,” the Sunday Times said.

The ANC’s plan to reduce the number of provinces – a decision which was taken at the party’s conference in Mangaung – is also back on the table.

The latest news follows reports in July 2017 that the ANC was pushing ahead with the reconfiguration of provinces, despite an outcry from opposition parties.

The ANC policy conference called for a presidential commission to be set up and for its work to be completed before the party’s elective conference in December.