The ANC in Gauteng has welcomed Premier David Makhura’s new executive council, saying it was young, better educated and possessed a wealth of experience in government.
In a statement on Wednesday, the provincial ANC said: “Both the comrades deployed in government in the legislature constitute what we call Team Gauteng. Through the appointments, a clear message has been sent that the ANC has listened to the people of the province when they said they want effective, efficient and faster service delivery.”
Makhura’s Cabinet sprung a few surprises, including the appointment of former MEC of education Panyaza Lesufi as the new MEC for Finance and e-Government. Lesufi is well-known in the education sector as one of the performing administrators in government.
Another big surprise was the omission of the party’s provincial treasurer, Parks Tau, who did not make it into Makhura’s Cabinet.
Makhura pushed for the appointment of Tau in his new Cabinet, but the Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) demurred, and recommended he go to Parliament instead.
Tau was dealt a major blow when he lost his position as Johannesburg executive mayor after the 2016 Local Government Elections when the Democratic Alliance took over the metro through a coalition with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Tau is the current president of the SA Local Government Association (SALGA).
Another biggest surprise was the appointment of Faith Mazibuko as the new MEC for Community Safety in Gauteng. Mazibuko hogged the news headlines recently when she threatened her staff and hurled racial abuse at her Chief Financial Officer and other heads of departments. She has since apologized.
Tasneem Motara, the party’s spokesperson in Gauteng, has been appointed MEC for Infrastructure Development and Property Management while her predecessor, Jacob Mamabolo, is now MEC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure.
The party’s head of elections in the province, Lebogang Maile, is now MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and COGTA.
“This team collectively represents the ANC’s accumulated governance experience, new energy and fresh ideas required to fulfill the mandate of the 6th Administration, of Growing Gauteng Together,” said Makhura.
“These newly-appointed MECs will put the interest of the people first and meet the highest ethical and service delivery standards in the conduct of their work.”
Meanwhile, the DA’s Caucus Leader Solly Msimanga in Gauteng has slammed Makhura’s new Cabinet, saying it represented the worst and contained the names of individuals who have previously had a dismal record in government.
“The appointment of Faith Mazibuko as MEC for Community Safety is an absolute disaster. How can she uphold law and order after her racist rants against staff members over Combi Courts just before the election? This was an abuse of state resources for electioneering purposes if ever there was,” said Msimanga.
Msimanga also lashed out at Maile, saying his appointment is clearly a move to keep Makhura’s foes within the ANC close at hand.
Msimanga said Mamabolo’s new role as MEC for Roads and Transport leaves much to be desired.
“In his previous capacity as MEC for Infrastructure Development, his many speeches and boasts amounted to very little substance. Under his watch, the Bank of Lisbon fire occurred while many faults with other provincially owned buildings were identified but no steps were taken to address these life threatening issues,” said Msimanga.
“Panyaza Lesufi is a spin doctor. What does he know about Finance? The DA will ask Moroka Swallows whether they will provide a reference as to his capabilities. Many of the other MECs are newcomers and are yet to prove their ability to navigate the complexities of Gauteng and its needs. The DA will make sure that this administration gets to work and improves the lives of the people of Gauteng, especially when it comes to jobs, health, safety and stopping corruption.”
The Members of the Executive Council will be sworn-in on Thursday 30 May 2019 at Emoyeni Conference Centre.