by MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA
Durban - A game of musical chairs has again played itself out in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature after the ANC appointed new chairpersons of portfolio committees and whips.
This comes nearly four months after some committee chairpersons were elevated to MECs, when Premier Willies Mchunu announced his cabinet.
Former arts and culture MEC Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha is now the transport portfolio committee chairwoman, the position previously being held by Transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda.
Former uMgungundlovu mayor Yusuf Bhamjee was the health chairman, replacing Lizzy Shabalala, who is shifted to the sports and recreation committee – previously led by now Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwane.
Former whip Nonhlanhla Khoza has taken over the office of the premier portfolio committee chair, previously held by now Arts and Culture MEC, Bongi Sithole-Moloi.
ANC caucus spokeswoman, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, is the new agriculture and rural development chairwoman, taking over from incumbent MEC Themba Mthembu.
MPLs Nomakiki Majola, Amon Zondi and Inkosi Zibuse Mlaba were elevated to whips.
Superficial changes were made to some, after some members were moved around, that are grouped according to clusters.
Simelane-Zulu said the ANC consistently looked at how effective its deployment was in the legislature.
“We also look at the best way to implement and ensure the oversight that is supposed to be conducted, is done in a correct way.
“With these new changes, the role and responsibilities of the legislature, which is oversight, will be strengthened, because you have experienced comrades who are leading the committees,” she said, adding the changes made would also strengthen the ANC caucus.
“It means that members of the ANC must not be complacent. They must strive to do more, and do better,” she said.
“They must have an understanding of all portfolio committees and the work done by the legislature. That is why, from time time, the ANC moves everyone around, so everyone has an understanding of everything,” Simelane-Zulu said.
She said the ruling party wanted its members to always have a broader understanding and sense of all issues.
“This shifting will happen from time to time. The intention is to have well-rounded cadres who are able to understand governance, and able to implement and play their oversight role correctly.”The ruling party still has to appoint a spokesperson for the ANC caucus on the legislature, as Simelane-Zulu is not a committee chairperson.