Patricia de Lille’s appointment widely welcomed
In a statement issued soon after her appointment, De Lille said: “I am deeply honoured and humbled to have received the call to serve as a minister of South Africa’s new cabinet.
“I have fought for justice in our country for more than 40 years and have no plans to give up fighting. I pledge to continue the struggle for dignity and fairness for all South Africans. I want to thank all my colleagues in the Good movement, and all who voted for Good, for their hard work and belief that change is possible, that the country we dreamed of 25 years ago is achievable.”
De Lille was travelling yesterday and did not answer requests for further comment.
Ramaphosa reduced the cabinet from 36 ministers to 28 as part of his plans to reconfigure the state.
Good secretary-general Brett Herron said the party’s national leadership had a brief meeting following the announcement to discuss the party’s position.
“It was all very fast and unexpected. Patricia was called in the afternoon by the president and she phoned me immediately. She was not sure what the president was offering her until she met with him. The national leadership unanimously supported this appointment. It shows the president has followed our campaign on spatial justice to address public land for the public good,” Herron said.
Western Cape ANC secretary Faiez Jacobs said: “Her portfolio is not an easy one. However, Patricia has the experience to make a change. We look forward to engaging her on state-owned land in the province that can be released and used for housing for our people. We want to talk to her about it,” Jacobs said.
DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela said: “I welcome her appointment. In fact, I sent her congratulatory message this morning. We need to rise above our party differences and egos. The people who elected us expect better. It’s an opportunity for De Lille to work closely with the City and province to fulfil her long-time wish for National Public Works land to be transferred for development.”