Inclusion of SACP chair in David Mabuza cabinet doesn't mend relations with ANC

2014-05-30 14:19

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The SA Communist Party (SACP) in Mpumalanga has welcomed the appointment of its chairperson into Premier David Mabuza’s cabinet, but still insists that the ANC has not changed its attitude of undermining the party.

Mabuza appointed SACP provincial chairperson Eric Kholwane as finance, economic development and tourism MEC today when he announced his cabinet.

Kholwane is a former chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on communications.

SACP first deputy secretary Lucky Mbuyane said the ANC did not consult the SACP about the new cabinet as other provinces had done.

“We got a call from Eric today that he would be sworn in as MEC. The ANC did not consult us and our relationship is still very bad in this province. The ANC as leader of the alliance does not recognise us at all. We only have a relationship when we campaign and after that, the ANC takes unilateral decisions,” Mbuyane said.

“However, we welcome the appointment and as a party we’ll support him in his portfolio,” he added.

The standoff and tensions between the ANC and SACP have been simmering for many years and the SACP has made it clear many times that it does not want Mabuza as both ANC provincial chairperson and the premier because of corruption in the Mpumalanga administration.

The party said the ANC had been hijacked by “lumpen tenderpreneurs” and “former apartheid Stratcom-type agents”.

Its concern has also been that certain ANC members hated the SACP so much that its members were threatened with assassinations and fired from government jobs.

Mpumalanga ANC secretary Lucky Ndinisa said the SACP and Cosatu were consulted but preferred not to participate.

“I was given the task to consult all the ANC structures, including the alliance partners. The SACP and Cosatu did not honour our meeting and they said the ANC was not trustworthy and did not believe it was calling them in good faith. We consulted them in good faith. Their concerns don’t hold but it’s a matter that worries us and we’ll try to resolve it in order to unite the alliance,” Ndinisa said.

Mabuza retained four MECs from his previous cabinet. They are Vusi Shongwe (safety, security and community liaison), Andries Gamede (agriculture, rural development, land and environmental affairs), Reginah Mhaule (education) and Violet Siwela (human settlements).

The other cabinet members are: Refilwe Mtsweni (cooperative governance and traditional affairs), Nora Mahlangu (culture, sport and recreation), Gillion Mashego (health), Dumisile Nhlengethwa (public works, roads and transport) and Nomsa Mtsweni (social development).

Shongwe and Mhaule retained their portfolios while Gamede and Siwela swapped departments.

Mabuza also reconfigured the departments of finance; economic development, environment and tourism; health and social development; and agriculture, rural development and land administration.

They are now known as: finance, economic development and tourism; health; and agriculture, rural development, land and environmental affairs.

Mabuza said: “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. 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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