He has succeeded Jacob Zuma whose tenure from 2009 was marred by allegations of corruption, cronyism and incompetence by some public officials.
Following Ramaphosa’s swearing-in on Thursday, the days of some cabinet ministers appear numbered.
Those said to be living on borrowed time include some whose appointments are linked to the so-called state sapture by the mischievously influential and beleaguered Gupta family.
John Cairns, currency strategist at Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), said over the coming days, said Ramaphosa was likely to make “sweeping” changes, given that a number of ministers in Zuma’s cabinet had been implicated in the Guptas controversy or presided over questionable policies.
“We think Ramaphosa may wield a stiff broom here,” said Cairns.
“One of the more important questions is whether he retains Finance Minister (Malusi) Gigaba, at least until the presentation of the budget next week,” said the strategist.
Others said to be staring the axe are Des van Rooyen (Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs), Bathabile Dlamini (Social Development), Faith Muthambi (Minister of Communications), David Mahlobo (Minister of Energy).
“Further ahead, we expect Ramaphosa to make a swift change at the National Prosecuting Authority, given that the courts have already ruled that Shaun Abrahams’ appointment was invalid.”
Ramaphosa was scheduled to deliver the delayed State of the Nation Address on Friday evening.
However, Cairns said, now that Ramaphosa would have full control over the executive there might be some case for delaying the budget scheduled for Wednesday to give the president and his appointed team an opportunity to strengthen the budget.
“Thus, we would view a small delay in the budget as favourable, though so far there is no indication from Ramaphosa or his team that this is being planned,” Cairns said.