Ramaphosa to Set Up Advisory Unit in Presidency, Business Day Says

(Bloomberg) -- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa plans to reinstate an advisory unit in the office of the presidency that will give him clear oversight of the way economic and investment policies are implemented, Business Day newspaper reported.

The unit, known as Policy and Research Services, will be headed by Busani Ngcaweni and will coordinate the so-called war room on the National Heath Insurance plan, the Johannesburg-based newspaper reported, citing Khusela Diko, Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman. A new growth plan and industrial policy will emanate from the unit, and a senior minister with strong standing in both the government and the ruling African National Congress will be appointed to work in the presidency as an adviser to Ramaphosa, it said.

Under Ramaphosa’s predecessor, Jacob Zuma, a number of under-performing ministries led to a failure to take decisions in key investment areas such as mining, oil exploration and the distribution of spectrum needed by telecommunications companies. State-owned companies such as power producer Eskom Holding SOC Ltd. became heavily indebted, riven with graft and inefficient. An advisory unit in the presidency has in the past pushed to get key decisions made.

The unit’s initial mandate will be policy analysis and coordination across the government, as well as coordinating presidential advisory councils, and providing research support to presidential advisers, Business Day reported, citing Ngcaweni. The unit will start recruiting staff in June.

Diko didn’t answer a phone call or immediately respond to a text message seeking comment.

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