Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - ANC alliance partners in Gauteng have expressed mixed feelings about Premier David Makhura’s new cabinet, in which he moved former education MEC and ANC provincial deputy chairperson Panyaza Lesufi to the finance portfolio.

On Wedneday, Makhura finally unveiled his provincial executive council which saw the introduction of new and younger MECs.

The finance portfolio was previously held by ANC national executive member Barbara Creecy, who also preceded Lesufi as Education MEC in 2014.

Lesufi has been replaced by ANC deputy provincial secretary Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko.

Cosatu provincial chairperson Amos Monyela said while the federation welcomed Makhura’s new executive, he failed to ensure more continuity where it was most needed.

“We are disappointed on the changes in the education portfolio; the premier missed an opportunity for continuity taking into consideration the work done by Lesufi in dealing with the transformation of education ” Monyela said.

Makhura was initially scheduled to reveal his new cabinet on Tuesday but postponed it as alliance partners and ANC components wanted to scrutinise the compliance of the appointments with the ANC’s guidelines, which required that representation was spread, among other things.

SACP provincial chairperson and finance portfolio committee head Joe Mpisi said the appointments were welcome as they were products of heavy discussions. “There was an intense engagement between us and the ANC because we wanted to ensure that we have a cabinet that is both capable and in compliance with the guidelines. 

“We know there are people who are disappointed with some of the appointments, like moving Lesufi from education, but there is a reason and we understand when Makhura explained to us,” Mpisi said.

Some of the younger MECs included provincial ANC Youth League spokesperson Mbali Hlophe, who replaced Faith Mazibuko as MEC of Sport. Mazibuko, who drew controversy earlier this year when an audio clip of her threatening her staff with dismissal if they failed to flout regulations and build sport facilities to ensure the ANC win elections surfaced, was appointed MEC of Community Safety.

Mpisi said the SACP called on Makhura to read the new MECs a riot act about the treatment of departmental officials.

“The attitude of MECs towards officials needs to change fundamentally. They must not bully them. “Makhura had one-on-one meetings with them on Tuesday and I trust then he strongly emphasised this,” Mpisi said.

Other younger, new entrants included Gauteng ANC subcommittee head for health, Dr Bandile Masuku, who was replacing Dr Gwen Ramokgopa as Health MEC and ANC provincial spokesperson Tasneem Motara who takes over from SACP provincial secretary Jacob Mamabolo as Infrastructure MEC.

Mamabolo was moved to roads and transport. Former Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa has been appointed MEC of Economic Development, replacing Lebogang Maile who has been moved to human settlements, urban planning and Cogta.

Sanco provincial secretary Thuliswa Nkabinde-Khawe is the new Social Development MEC.

Political Bureau