KZN set for reshuffle

2013-10-04 00:00

MESHACK Radebe, Nomusa Dube, Willies Mchunu and Mike Mabuyakhulu are all likely to lose their posts in a provincial cabinet reshuffle that Premier Senzo Mchunu is expected to announce soon.

Mchunu was expected to announce his successor in the Education portfolio yesterday, but this was delayed as he was returning from an official visit to Russia.

He told the media last Thursday that he needed to apply his mind to the appointment and also consult the ANC.

Mchunu, the former Education MEC, replaced former premier Zweli Mkhize who stepped down in August to take up the treasurer’s position at ANC headquarters in Johannesburg full time.

Mchunu’s spokesperson Ndabezinhle Sibiya said yesterday the media would be notified today about when the new premier would make appointments.

Mchunu is expected back in the country today, his arrival coinciding with an ANC-led tripartite alliance meeting.

Party insiders said Mchunu would make a “major” cabinet reshuffle.

They said the intention was to ensure he made his mark and accelerated service delivery within the remaining six months of this government’s term.

The portfolios likely to be affected by the reshuffle are said to be transport, community safety and liaison; economic development; agriculture; and co- operative governance and traditional affairs.

There is, however, no definite indication of who would occupy these portfolios and where the incumbents would be moved to.

The Witness recently reported that Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu, who had challenged for the ANC chairperson position and premiership, was tipped to become a safety and security adviser to President Jacob Zuma.

Sources said Economic Development MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu could be moved to Education, while the names of education portfolio committee chairperson Linda Hlongwa and former Sadtu secretary Sipho Nkosi were also being bandied about.

However, sources said Hlongwa, who was initially the preferred candidate, was deemed not strong enough for the position, and her IFP political background is apparently being questioned in some circles.

They also said Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube could be axed because municipalities were performing poorly under her watch. Agriculture MEC Meshack Radebe could be axed for contesting three vacancies on the ANC executive committee against the wishes of Senzo Mchunu’s supporters.

Publicly, the party is keeping its cards close to its chest.

ANC spokesperson Senzo Mkhize said he had no knowledge about the alliance meeting scheduled for today.

He referred questions to provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala, who could not be reached for comment.

Cosatu provincial boss Zet Luzipo said the meeting was not called to consider appointments to the cabinet and it was the prerogative of the premier to make appointments.

“You must recall that the last time Zweli [Mkhize] did a cabinet reshuffle, he did not need the alliance,” he said.

SACP provincial secretary Themba Mthembu said his party would welcome a major reshuffle and hoped someone who met expectations would be appointed as Education MEC.

“Let’s hope that they want to consult on the issue of cabinet broadly. If you look at the cabinet, it is dysfunctional,” Mthembu said.

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