What is the change? President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his government’s cabinet Monday, reshuffling several posts and moving Malusi Gigaba from Finance Minister to Minister of Home Affairs.

What does the change mean? Gigaba previously headed the Department of Home Affairs from 2014 until March 2017 when then-President Jacob Zuma moved him to the Ministry of Finance. His reinstatement at DHA could mean that he will continue to implement a proposed overhaul of the country’s immigration system under a DHA white paper that was released in 2017.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All immigration services.
  • Who is affected: Companies and individuals applying for work visas and other immigration benefits in South Africa.
  • Business impact: Businesses should anticipate immigration reforms that Gigaba had initiated during his previous tenure at DHA, including the possible introduction of a points-based work permit system.

Background: The DHA has seen several cabinet reorganizations in the past year with Gigaba replaced in March and his successor replaced in October. Ramaphosa took office earlier this month after Zuma resigned following a vote by the National Assembly Feb. 15.

BAL Analysis: The reinstatement of Gigaba provides some certainty, given his record with the DHA. While Ramaphosa is expected to promote business-friendly policies, it is unclear which reforms he advocates in the DHA white paper. The landscape will become clearer in the coming weeks as the new government and Gigaba set out their priorities related to immigration. BAL produced a backgrounder last March on the proposed changes. Read the full backgrounder here.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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