Johannesburg - The ANC has officially confirmed that Job Mokgoro has been nominated as the North West premier candidate.
The 70-year-old Mokgoro’s swearing is expected to take place on Friday. He takes over from former premier Supra Mahumapelo who resigned in May.
“He is an activist and an administrator. He is 70 years old and he has the energy to stabilise the situation there. The NWC (national working committee) decision is unanimous because we want someone who will ensure unity there,” said ANC secretary general Ace Magashule at a media briefing on Thursday.
Mokgoro is a former director-general of the North West and a former principal of the National School of Government. The ANC National Working Committee reportedly decided on Mokgoro as a compromise candidate as he is not part of the leadership structure of the North West province. Mokgoro is expected to serve until the next general elections next year.
Mahumapelo who remains as the chairperson of the ANC in the North West, said the province would support Mokgoro in his new position. Mokgoro will be part of the NW Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) as an ex-official member. The decision of who should replace former premier Mahumapelo, who resigned last month, was not an easy one.
It was reported that factions aligned to Mahumapelo wanted someone close to him to be appointed. While the ANC's alliance partners, the SACP and Cosatu, wanted an alliance candidate. The ANC’s alliance partners have welcomed Mokgoro’s nomination.
Mahumapelo's "early retirement" in May was preceded by violent protests in the North West with residents calling for him to step down or be recalled by the ANC.
Key amongst the resident's grievances were accusations that Mahumapelo was corrupt and did not ensure service delivery. The former premier has denied these claims. The Cabinet decided to place the entire North West government under administration in April.
The key areas that Mokgoro will have to tackle is administrative issues in province, with the health department being the worst affected. He will also have to appease residents and come up with plans to improve service delivery.