SMALL Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to keep her department going after next year’s elections.Speaking in Durban on Monday, where she handed over gas stoves, wheelbarrows and fridges to small businesspeople, she said she will lobby the president not to close her ministry. In his State of the Nation Address in February, Ramaphosa said the Cabinet will be trimmed down to reduce government expenditure. In his cabinet reshuffle last week, he said communications and telecommunications would be merged into one ministry under Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Siyabonga Cwele was moved from telecommunications to Home Affairs. After rumours of the economic development and small business development ministries merging with trade and industry, Zulu said if her department closed down, small businesspeople would suffer. She praised former president Jacob Zuma for creating the department in 2014. “We all know the ANC will win the elections, but we don’t know who will be the new ministers,” she said. “We know ministries will be merged. “I’d love this ministry to be separate, so it can continue helping small businesses to grow.“Everywhere Ramaphosa goes, he emphasises the importance of supporting small businesses. “I will protest for you and not for myself. “I won’t mind if he appoints a new minister.”
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