Cape Town - Opposition leaders’ queries have forced Premier Alan Winde to defend his recent appointments to the Executive Council and the rationale behind the renaming of departments.
Questions on the topics, directed at Winde, came from EFF MPL Melikhaya Xego, leader of the opposition Cameron Dugmore (ANC) and Freedom Front Plus MPL Peter Marais.
Xego said: “The reason for my question is that in the past, the premier appointed individuals with questionable morals and ethics who either allegedly lied about qualifications or allegedly sexually abused junior staff or who were incompetent.”
Dugmore enquired about the name changes, and Marais asked if Winde would consider expanding the executive council to create a department to deal solely with job creation.
Responding to Xego, Winde said before making an appointment, he considered what the people of the province needed and the aptitude of the appointee.
He said if things went wrong during a MEC’s tenure, he had shown he dealt with such matters decisively.
He said the name changes were motivated by a need to better reflect the service each department provides to the residents of the province.
Regarding job creation, he said the departments of Economic Opportunity, Agriculture, Infrastructure, Mobility, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning were all in the jobs cluster and geared to creating jobs.
Winde recently made changes to the Executive Council, shifting David Maynier from the Finance portfolio to Education and replacing him at the provincial treasury with former DA chief whip Mireille Wenger.
He also renamed the Human Settlements department as Infrastructure, bringing under its umbrella the public works component of the former Transport and Public Works department, now renamed Mobility.
When Reagen Allen was appointed to take over Albert Fritz’s former job, he found it had been rechristened Community Safety and Police Oversight.