New Gauteng Education MEC has ‘big boots’ to fill, appointment welcomed

Matome Chiloane has replaced Premier Panyaza Lesufi, who announced his replacement on Friday. Picture: Itumeleng English

Matome Chiloane has replaced Premier Panyaza Lesufi, who announced his replacement on Friday. Picture: Itumeleng English

Published Oct 10, 2022


The appointment of the new Gauteng MEC for Education, Matome Chiloane, has been widely welcomed following his successful stint as the former chairperson of the Education Portfolio Committee.

Chiloane has replaced Premier Panyaza Lesufi, now the Premier of Gauteng, who announced his replacement on Friday..

The United Front for School Governing Bodies (UFSGB), welcomed Chiloane’s appointment, saying that he had demonstrated his understanding and passion on the issues of oversight and scrutiny of the department. Chiloane was elected the chairperson of education portfolio in the Gauteng Legislature in 2019 and was in the position until now.

“MEC Chiloane cut his political teeth as an activist in Cosas Tembisa in Ekurhuleni. He was part of the progressive structure in Tembisa that earned him a track record in the Congress Youth League, until he was elected chairperson of ANC Youth League in Gauteng in August 2014.

“We are well aware that MEC Matome Chiloane is filling big boots, we are sure that he will continue to make sure that everyone, young and old, has access to the kind of education that unleashes their full potential, sorting out school infrastructure, and the safety of everyone at schools at all times,” the organisation said.

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) also welcomed Chiloane’s appointment, and commended the former incumbent Lesufi for his “notable diligent execution of the education transformation agenda”.

Sadtu noted that Chiloane was familiar with the challenges and interventions which were unfolding, and he would bring “relevant, practical” experience, and clarity about the appropriate course of action.

“We trust that he will continue to unreservedly pursue the education transformation agenda underpinned by the Gauteng Provincial Government plan of action. To this end, we trust that he will strengthen the stakeholder driven approach to address the complex challenges of the sector in acknowledgement that education is a societal issue,” the teachers’ union said.

It added that it was looking forward to working with Chiloane in advancing quality public education.

In a television interview with Newzroom Afrika on Saturday, Chiloane assured the community of Gauteng that he would continue with the standard that Lesufi had set.

Chiloane said all programmes that were in put in place by the department will continue, including the Schools of Specialisation (SOS) and rolling out ICT.

He said that increasing the number of SOS in the townships was one of the key programmes to be undertaken.

When asked about the quality of the education system in South Africa, Chiloane said that the system did prepare pupils to be competitive, and "that can be seen by some of the top scientists that are in the world who come from the very same system that is taught in our schools."