President Jacob Zuma has signed a proclamation to give effect to changes to government departments since the 7 May general elections, the presidency said in a statement on Thursday.
“President Zuma has signed a proclamation to establish or abolish national departments, as well as to designate such departments and their heads, following the announcement of new portfolios of ministers that the president made on 25 May 2014,” spokesman Mac Maharaj said.
Although the departments had already been restructured when Zuma announced the new portfolios, this proclamation was needed to sign them into law.
The communications department would replace the government communications and information service (GCIS). The proclamation also provided for the establishment of the department of telecommunications and postal services.
The proclamation officially established the new department of small business development, and replaced the department of performance monitoring and evaluation with the department of planning, monitoring, and evaluation.
The department of water and sanitation would replace water affairs, while the department of women would replace the department of women, children, and people with disabilities.
The department of justice and correctional services was unaffected by the proclamation.
“The two portfolios remain separate and self-standing, with their own heads of department and their own budgets. The only thing that has happened is that a single individual has been appointed as minister of both portfolios,” Maharaj explained.
“President Zuma will, as a next step, transfer the administration of legislation, powers and functions to the relevant ministers in terms of section 97 of the constitution,” Maharaj said. — Sapa