Eastern Cape premier appoints new PEC

2018-05-10 21:01
Phumulo Masualle. (City Press)

Phumulo Masualle. (City Press)

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Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle announced a new provincial executive committee on Thursday "pursuant to [a] new political discourse".

Provincial spokesperson Sonwabo Mbananga said the changes followed the chaotic September 2017 ANC Eastern Cape elective conference, dubbed the festival of chairs, where new provincial office bearers were elected to serve in the provincial executive committee.

"Pursuant to this new political discourse, it became necessary to review the provincial government executive council (exco) and facilitate the deployment of some members of the new provincial leadership to serve in the provincial government cabinet," Mbananga said.

Mbananga said the changes should allow "for a smooth transition" ahead of the 2019 national and provincial elections.

As part of the changes, Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane moves into the role of MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Helen Sauls August becomes the MEC for Health, and Mlungisi Mvoko takes the position of MEC for Human Settlements.

Pemmy Majodina becomes the MEC for Public Works, Xolile Edmund Nqatha becomes MEC for Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, Pumza Dyantyi takes the position of MEC for Social Development and Bulelwa Tunyiswa is the MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture.

Bobby Stevenson, DA leader in the Eastern Cape legislature, said the "shuffling of the factional deckchairs" would do nothing for political stability in the province.

"With some in the ANC still questioning the legality of the PEC and others questioning the legitimacy of a 'defiant' Masualle, we are in for a continued battle royal," he said.

"No province can move forward if MECs and the premier have to watch their backs all the time."

Stevenson said the cabinet shuffle was "muddied by the ongoing internal faction fighting in the ANC".

"Until that is rooted out, bold action will never be taken to turn the Eastern Cape around. What we need is total change that will put this province on a new path of economic growth, good governance and rising opportunity."

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