Makhura’s new council ‘reflects the ANC alliance in Gauteng’

Gauteng Premier David Makhura Picture Felix Dlangamandla
Gauteng Premier David Makhura Picture Felix Dlangamandla

Six new council members will serve in Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s cabinet following his announcement on Wednesday morning.

Makhura, who assumed his office as premier a week ago, said he was clear about what was needed.

“Having understood the new mandate given to the sixth administration, I have given serious thought about the women and men who would constitute the new executive council,” he said.

ANC’s provincial spokesperson Tasneem Motara was one of the new faces Makhura introduced to his cabinet and she will head infrastructure development and property management in the province.

Speaking to City Press, Motara said the ruling party in the province was satisfied with the team Makhura had selected.

Tasneem Motara
Tasneem Motara, ANC’s provincial spokesperson.

“The Gauteng ANC represents progress and continuity and the number of young people who will be involved in leading the province is a reflection of that. They are young but have skills and experience,” she said.

“The team is a broad reflection of the ANC alliance in the province – a reflection of the leadership of the alliance – and the Gauteng ANC is pleased with the final decision taken by the premier and the office bearers, who have taken into consideration the principles that were put in place.”

Makhura echoed Motara’s sentiment and said: “This team collectively represents the ANC’s accumulated governance experience, new energy and fresh ideas required to fulfil the mandate of the sixth administration of ‘growing Gauteng together’.”

Former Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa – who will serve as the MEC for economic development, agriculture and environment – was another new addition to Makhura’s team.

Former Education MEC in the province Panyaza Lesufi will now be in charge of Gauteng’s finances following his new appointment as the MEC for finance and e-government.

Lesufi, who served as the education MEC for five years, made strides in the province’s education system. His achievements included the introduction of the Paperless Classroom Project in 2015 and a partnership with German car maker BMW.

The department launched an engineering school with an automotive focus in the north of Pretoria last month.

Panyaza takes over from Barbara Creecy, who was last week sworn in as a member of Parliament.

Lesufi’s impact on the education system was evident when South Africans took to social media to share their appreciation for the work he had done

However Lesufi could not comment on his new position. He told City Press: “I would rather wait until after I have been sworn in before I comment.”

Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, who has taken over Lesufi’s position as Gauteng education MEC, formerly served as the province’s MEC for agriculture and rural development after being appointed by Nomvula Mokonyane in 2009. Nkomo-Ralehoko stepped down after less than 30 days in her position.

Nkomo-Ralehoko’s resignation came after reports that she purchased a Mercedes-Benz with state funds and lost it overnight after her husband Sydney was hijacked outside their home in Alberton.

Read: Gauteng government cars not insuredFollowing her “combi courts rant” earlier this year, former Gauteng MEC for sport, arts, culture and recreation Faith Mazibuko appeared in front of the South African Human Rights Commission and apologised for her actions.

Read: ‘Combi court’ rant lands Mazibuko in sensitivity programmeMazibuko, who has returned to her previous position of MEC for community safety – a position she held more than five years ago – was then instructed to attend a “day-long” sensitivity and diversity programme.

Faith Mazibuko
Faith Mazibuko

This was after an audio recording of Mazibuko using what the Human Rights Commission termed “divisive language” directed towards her head of department Monica Newton and chief financial officer Priya Lutchman did the rounds on social media.

Former MEC for infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo remains in the infrastructure realm as he is set to head public transport and infrastructure.

Mamobolo told City Press that he was looking forward to the new deployment.

“I am looking forward to this new assignment because it is a continuation for me. I have rounded up all infrastructure developments and I have a full view of the entire infrastructure space,” he said.

For Mamobolo, the role of his new portfolio was a critical one.

He said: “This portfolio is critical to growing the economy because the economy depends on transport especially in the province. It connects all sectors of the economy. We appreciate the opportunity to use transport networks and infrastructure to connect the Gauteng economy through tourism and movement of goods.”

Youth activist Lebogang Maile has been put in charge of the position of MEC for human settlements, urban planning and cooperative governance and traditional affairs.

Maile, who is also a member of the provincial executive committee of the ANC in Gauteng, was also the party’s provincial head of elections.

Thuliswa Nkabinde-Khawe will take on the social development portfolio. Nkabinde-Khawe joined the Gauteng legislature in 2009 and served as the chairperson of roads and transport.

Mbali Hlophe and Bandile Masuku will head up the sport, arts, culture and recreation and health portfolios respectively, with Hlophe taking over from Mazibuko.

The members of the executive council will be sworn in in Parktown on Thursday, when Makhura will elaborate on what is expected of the team.

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