Newly elected Eastern Cape premier Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane announced the members of his executive council (MECs) at a meeting with the press on Tuesday afternoon and said there had been good work done by previous MECs led by a number of past EC premiers and that the new executive council had a task to continue with this work.
The meeting took place at the Royal St Andrews Hotel and security was tight, with X-ray scanners used to inspect baggage brought in to the ANC caucus meeting that took place before the official announcement of the MECs.
However, the meeting with the press took place in another room to which the media were allowed free access.
Mabuyane, who was formerly the Eastern Cape MEC for finance, economic development, environmental affairs and tourism, was elected unopposed last week at the provincial meeting in Bhisho and said he was humbled to have been chosen to lead the sixth provincial executive.
The “provincial cabinet”, as Mabuyane named it, stays at 10 and includes the following members:
•Mlungisi Mvoko will now head Mabuyane’s previous post as MEC for finance, economic development, environmental affairs and tourism;
•Xolile Nqata will take over as MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs;
•Nomakhosazana Meth will be the MEC for rural development and agrarian reform;
•Babalo Madikizela is the new MEC for public works;
•Fundile Gade is the new MEC for education;
•SIndiswa Gomba is the MEC for health;
•Nonqkubela Pieters was named MEC for human settlements;
•Weziwe Tikana is now the MEC for transport, safety and liasion;
•Fezeka Nkomony-Bayeni is the new MEC for sport, recreation, arts and culture; and
•Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi is the MEC for social development
“To the people of our province, these are women and men who will work with you to grow the province. I congratulate all the MECs for their appointment into the executive council. This is not just a job, this is a responsibility to serve the people of our province. Serve them well with diligence and humility.
“We are now a collective that will make the dreams of our youth come to pass, the vision of our mothers and fathers to be realised, the desires of our society to manifest,” said Mabuyane.
In his announcement, Mabuyane said that six of the 10 MECs were women, in line with the recommendations of the ANC NEC that at least 50% of the provincial administration should be women.
“We have exceeded this,” he said.
“The announcement of MECs follows a thorough engagement within the structures of the ANC, our alliance partners, Cosatu, Sanco and the SACP. At the heart of this process was to make sure that as we appoint leaders we are guided by the policy imperatives of the ANC, unity and renewal.”
Mabuyane said that he had avoided building systems around individuals.
“Our high hopes are not with leaders but with the ANC,” he said.
“We have built a solid foundation on which to build.”
Asked about allegations of corruption that have plagued the ANC in recent times, Mabuyane said the ANC had investigated the candidates to ensure they were fit for the job. Echoing State President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call, he said his administration had been tasked with routing out corruption in the province where it existed.
“As the executive council of the sixth administration we will always make sure that whatever, we must always put the people of this province first and they must get a better life.
“That is why this executive council, the new MECs, will be responsible for the manifesto commitments the ANC placed before the voters of this country. The work we will do must create more decent jobs for the people of this province and grow the provincial economy to benefit all the people of the Eastern Cape.
“We move with the commitment of providing quality healthcare for all, ensuring security and comfort, safe communities and safe lives. In this regard, we want to appeal to the people of the province not to take law into their own hands.
“We saw a video of people with weapons marching in the streets of Nelson Mandela Metro looking for members of gangs. Communities must allow law enforcement to stop criminals by reporting crime and not by taking up arms to fight criminals.
“All these commitments will never materialise if we do not have a capable and honest government. This requires employees of government from the entry level to senior managers, the public and MECs,” Mabuyane said.
– Rob Knowles