Premier takes over

2018-03-28 06:00
Sisi Ntombela       Photo: Teboho Setena

Sisi Ntombela Photo: Teboho Setena

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The newly-elected Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela (60), will be inaugurated in the Free State Stadium today (28/03).

She will take the place of Elias Ace Magashule (59), who was elected as the ANC’s secretary general at the ruling party’s national congress in December.

Ntombela previously served as the MEC for Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements (Cogta), before which she worked for the Department of Social Development having served in the portfolio of Social Development from 2009.

Ntombela was sworn in as Premier in the Free State Legislature on Tuesday (27/03), ending Magashule’s term of nine years.

He succeeded Beatrice Marshoff in 2009.

The ANC in the Free State has welcomed Ntombela’s election after the party’s national working committee approved her nomination on 12 March.

“With regards to the party’s leadership succession, her nomination once again affirms the maturing and enduring nature of our demo­cracy,” said Phiwe Mathe, ANC spokesperson.

“Over many years, Ntombela has proven herself equal to the task expected of her. She has demonstrated her ability to face the challenges that confront our province.

“Her work is the evidence. She provided 3 722 homes and 2 351 serviced sites through public private partnerships. She also issued 4 715 title deeds during the 2017-’18 financial year, all while spearheading the revitalisation of mining towns in the Free State,” Mathe said.

Ntombela’s election has, however, been met with disappointment by opposition parties in the province.

Kgotso Morapela, EFF provincial spokesperson, said: “Although the EFF fully supports the advancement of women in our society, we will not be fooled by Magashule’s disingenuous motives to advance his narrow political interests in the name of gender equity by running the Free State government from Luthuli House.

“The only reason for Ntombela’s nomination is that she happens to be the deputy president of the ANC’s Women’s League and that she is a close confidante of Magashule.”

According to Dr Roy Jankielsohn, DA member of the provincial legislature, the Department of Cogta is struggling to complete 11 000 houses, while the drive to give people full title to the properties they live on has been lacklustre, to say the least, with a backlog of about 60 000 title deeds yet to be transferred.

“Under Ntombela’s premiership, the people can expect a decrease in service delivery, poorly executed government programmes and greater unemployment rates.”

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