Since he assumed office in February, President Cyril Ramaphosa has only made minor changes to his cabinet. His predecessor's favourite political pastime, Ramaphosa appears reluctant to make late night calls to his cabinet colleagues and inform them that he no longer requires their services - or looting in some instances.

The president has at least three reasons to make changes to his cabinet, two of which occurred in the last month alone. First, the president needs to find a replacement for the late Edna Molewa, who died suddenly after falling ill during an official visit to China. Described as a dedicated environmentalist, Ramaphosa should think carefully when appointing her successor as the environmental affairs portfolio includes more than just protecting South Africa's rhinos.

The other two reasons are less obvious, but significantly more concerning.

Last week, the Constitutional Court ordered the former minister of social development and current minister for women in the Presidency to personally pay 20% of the legal costs in the social grants matter. The court has described her conduct as "reckless" and "grossly negligent". Even worse, the court also wants the national prosecutions boss to determine whether she lied under oath and possibly face perjury charges.

The findings sound suspiciously familiar.

Last December, the high court in Pretoria found Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba told a "deliberate untruth" in a case against Fireblade Aviation. "...the Minister has committed a breach of the Constitution so serious that I would characterise it as a violation".

This damning judgement was later confirmed by the Supreme Court of Appeal, while the Constitutional Court rejected Gigaba's application. The Presidency noted the ruling in a statement and the Public Protector's Office said an investigation is underway. Winter has come and gone and there have been no developments.

As such, the 'new dawn' president sits with two ministers in his cabinet who have violated the very document that gives credibility to their titles.

Despite these rulings, removing any minister, especially those considered close to former president Jacob Zuma, may still not feature high on the president's to-do list. At the moment Ramaphosa's leadership seems somewhat fragile - given suspicious, secretive meetings by senior members of his party. And now there is an investigation into an alleged plot to oust the president by the ANC's top six leaders - which includes one of the said alleged plotters.

To survive in the Union Buildings, Ramaphosa may therefore be waiting for a mandate from the electorate. If his interim administration is able convince South Africans that it can turn the tide - economic, social and political - polls might legitimise his rule and weaken his detractors.

While internal squabbles could potentially be disastrous for the ANC come voting time, Ramaphosa is carefully trying to buy time, while mitigating the damages - both to country and party.

By not axing characters such as Gigaba and Dlamini - and a host of other ministers - Ramaphosa might keep the opposing faction at bay.

But simultaneously, voters may not be as understanding when it comes to internal party matters. This is especially the case for a government that protects - or at least fails to take action against - ministers who have little regard for the Constitution. Perhaps then the president should rather concern himself with the opinions of South Africans.