New MEC gets off to a tardy start

2014-06-01 16:39
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Mbombela - New MEC for Mpumalanga's department of public works, roads and transport, Dumisile Nhlengethwa arrived late and sweating for her inauguration on Friday.

Premier David Mabuza had to start naming his provincial executive committee without her.

"We have one MEC who is not present here; she's late on her first day. Anyway we will continue," said Mabuza.

Shortly afterwards, a heavily sweating MEC Nhlengethwa rushed in, while using a brochure to fan herself.

Deputy judge president of the North and South Gauteng high courts Aubrey Ledwaba was already swearing in the new cabinet. "Are you okay?" Mabuza asked Nhlengethwa after she took her oath.

Department spokesperson Dumisane Malamule was not sure why his MEC was late and said he didn't have her cell number, so he couldn't phone to check.

He referred further questions to the Premier's Office.

Premier Mabuza's spokesperson Zibonele Mncwango said MEC Nhlengethwa must have had a reason to be late and that the Premier didn't take it seriously.

"The Director General knew that she would be late and the premier didn't take it seriously," said Mncwango.

Meanwhile, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) member of the Mpumalanga legislature Collen Sedibe seems to have broken away from his party's recommendation that its politicians wear red overalls in solidarity with the working classes.

The EFF provincial co-ordinator wore a flashy suit during Mabuza's inauguration on Thursday. He had, howevever, worn red overalls and a hard hat when he was sworn in as a member of the provincial legislature on 21 May.

He laughed and said: "I'm an honourable now; that is why I'm wearing this suit."

The EFF has indicated that dressing like mine workers or domestic workers will not be compulsory, however.

On Friday, Mabuza announced that the Department of Health and Social Development would be split into two, with each having its own MEC. The MECs are Gillion Mashego, for health, and Nomsa Mtshweni, for social development.

He added that the finance department and that of economic development, environment and tourism would be merged.

He specified that while the two departments have been merged, the environment component would be incorporated into the agriculture, land administration and rural development department.

The new MECs and their departments are Eric Kholwane, for the Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism and Andries Gamede, for the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environment Affairs.

"I am privileged to announce that I have assembled a team of men and women to form part of the executive that will be tasked with leading and taking this province to greater heights," said Mabuza.

"I have confidence that their skills and experience will contribute immensely to our efforts of speeding up development and service delivery."

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