After every five years, the national and provincial elections take place where South Africans elect their preferred President and the five-year-term for cabinet ministers elapses. On 08 May 2019 marked the 5th democratic elections and saw Cyril Ramaphosa being unanimously elected as the president of South Africa. A few days after his swearing in, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his new cabinet, and that included reducing the number of ministers and their deputies from 36 to 28. The president reduced the size of his cabinet in order to reduce government spending. President Ramaphosa has also combined a number of departments in the process of reconfiguring the state, which he said was still ongoing. Some of the combined departments were Trade and Industry with Economic Development, Higher Education and Training with Science and Technology, Environmental Affairs with Forestry and Fisheries, Agriculture with Land Reform and Rural Development, Mineral Resources with Energy, Human Settlements with Water and Sanitation and Sports and Recreation with Arts and Culture. He further added responsibility for infrastructure to the Department of Public Works and the one for employment to the Department of Labour.
In this month’s issue of Mbalo Brief, our educational article is based on the results of the food security report titled Towards measuring food security in South Africa: an examination of hunger and food inadequacy, Report No. 03-00-14 (2017), published on 28 March 2019. The article provides information on the extent of households’ experiences of hunger and access to food, as well as to provide insight on the location and the profile of households that are food insecure in terms of access to food and exposure to hunger. Also have a look at our monthly crossword puzzle and solutions for the May 2019 puzzle. Articles published in this issue are based on results of industry surveys conducted for the months ranging from March to April 2019.