New Limpopo premier sworn in

2013-07-18 21:23

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Polokwane - The next few months will be critical for new Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha, the ANC's provincial task team said on Thursday.

"We would like to emphasise that we fully understand the challenges he will be facing," provincial task team (PTT) co-ordinator Joy Matshoge said in a statement.

Mathabatha, the former ambassador to Ukraine, became a member of the provincial legislature on Thursday in a special sitting during its recess.

He was then was sworn in as premier, succeeding Cassel Mathale who resigned on Monday after being "recalled" by the African National Congress.

The ANC's leaders had sent the PTT to the province. In the past few months it had dissolved the region's provincial executive committee, which Mathale chaired, its youth league, and some district structures.

It intended rebuilding them and bringing them back in line with party policies ahead of a provincial conference.

The PTT described Mathabatha as a "tested cadre" who was aware of the party's policies and programmes.

"Many crucial tasks still remain, such as rooting out corruption [and] laziness, and service delivery in the public sector, and implementation of people-centred public service administration," Matshoge said.

In December 2011, five Limpopo government departments were placed under administration because of corruption and gross violations of the Public Finance Management Act. Mathale was premier from May 2009.

According to an old company report on the internet, Mathabatha was managing director of Limpopo Economic Development Enterprise, an agency of the Limpopo provincial government.

Harvard Business School

According to his academic profile he holds a BA from the University of the Western Cape; a Higher Diploma in Education (UWC) and a masters degree in development (University of Limpopo). He completed a programme in management development at Harvard Business School in the US.

Previous positions included chief director in the finance and economic development departments.

The Democratic Alliance in Limpopo said it would support Mathabatha.

"The DA assures the new premier of its full support on matters of governance," provincial leader Jacques Smalle said in a statement.

It had unsuccessfully tried to call a debate on a motion of no confidence in Mathale earlier in the year.

Smalle said Mathabatha should start by firing roads and transport MEC Pinky Kekana after the Public Protector found wrongdoing in the department; and education MEC Dickson Masemola after certain school grades did not receive textbooks in time last year.

International relations department spokesperson Clayson Monyela said Mathabatha's position in the Ukraine had not yet been filled.

Read more on:    stanley mathabatha  |  polokwane  |  politics

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