Johannesburg - The ANC is reportedly expected to announce 70-year-old Job Mokgoro as the new premier of the North West following weeks of tense discussions by the party. Mokgoro is a former director-general of the North West and a former principal of the National School of Government.
He is due to be sworn in on Friday as the 30-day deadline to appoint a new premier is set to expire next week. 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. He was chosen amongst two other candidates which include North West Legislature Speaker Susan Dantjie.
Mokgoro is expected to serve until the general elections next year. The decision of who should replace former premier Supra 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.
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.