Durban - Details have now started to emerge of how former KwaZulu-Natal MEC of Public Works and Human Settlements, Jomo Sibiya was appointed as an adviser to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
It was suggested by an ANC insider that Sibiya had been considered for a minister or deputy minister position by Ramaphosa, but when this was not possible the decision was made to make him a special adviser.
Sibiya will replace Bejani Chauke, who is now Ramaphosa's special envoy and who resigned as adviser after his election to the ANC National Executive Committee.
Sibiya lost his MEC position last year when the slate he supported, which included former premier Sihle Zikalala, lost out at the ANC provincial elective conference.
According to media reports, Sibiya said he would be supportive, objective and loyal to the president, but this would not amount to blind loyalty. Sibiya who hails from Nquthu, in northern KZN, resigned as a member of the provincial legislature last week.
He also said, according to the reports, that he was excited about the job, but also appreciated the responsibility that came with the position and was looking forward to making a meaningful contribution and working with the president.
An ANC insider said there had been expectations that Sibiya was to be appointed as a minister or deputy in Ramaphosa’s Cabinet.
“This has been a long time coming and it was expected that he was to be given a senior Cabinet post. There was no space to make him a minister, and that is possibly why he has been appointed as a special adviser to the president.’’
The ANC in KZN last week congratulated Sibiya on his appointment.
“In keeping with the culture and traditions of the ANC, at all times, Comrade Jomo Sibiya has sought to ensure that state resources are deployed to transform the lives of the people.
“He made all categories of staff understand that their technical skills were required to fulfil the mandate of a democratic government elected through the will of the people,” the party said.
“We are convinced as the ANC that through this deployment Comrade Matamela is demonstrating his commitment towards ensuring that the human capital that is available in South Africa is utilised to build a prosperous country.”