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Johannesburg - The ANC has finalised the arduous process to appoint the premiers in the eight provinces it governs.
Only three of the current premiers have not been retained. Out go Nomvula Mokonyane in Gauteng, Thandi Modise in North West and Noxolo Kiviet in the Eastern Cape.
Mokonyane has been replaced by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Ntombi Mekgwe, while Modise and Kiviet have been replaced by the provincial chairmen, Supra Mahumapelo and Phumulo Masualle, respectively.
Those retained are David Mabuza in Mpumalanga, Stan Mathabatha in Limpopo, Senzo Mchunu in KwaZulu-Natal, Ace Magashule in the Free State and Sylvia Lucas in the Northern Cape. The premiers were due to be announced at a press conference this afternoon.
The appointment of premiers followed a process of tough negotiations between the provincial executive committees (PECs) and the ANC’s big wigs in the national executive committee that lasted late into Monday night.
Independent Newspapers understands that the process to appoint the premiers was finalised after ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe reined in the respective provinces, especially on some divisions, infighting and factionalism that have paralysed service delivery. Mantashe, like the NEC, was also said to have been uncompromising on the ANC policy of gender equity.
The NEC had made it clear that in provinces where the males were appointed as premiers, females had to be the speakers in their legislatures. In the end, though, only two women were appointed as premiers.
In Gauteng, Mekgwe has the unenviable task of uniting a largely divided Gauteng PEC that is split between a faction hostile to President Jacob Zuma and one that is sympathetic to him. She also has to ensure that Gauteng salvage the votes it lost in the recent election, in the face of tough competition from the DA and Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters ahead of the 2016 municipal election.
List of premiers:
Gauteng: Ntombi Mekgwe
Mpumalanga: David Mabuza
Limpopo: Stan Mathabatha
Free State: Ace Magashule
Eastern Cape: Phumulo Masualle
Northern Cape: Sylvia Lucas
KwaZulu-Natal: Senzo Mchunu:
North West: Supra Mahumapelo