Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA)

Choosing premiers first order of business for ANC

By SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI Time of article published May 13, 2019

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Johannesburg - The ANC top brass is meeting on Monday to discuss who will be the premiers of the eight provinces the party will be governing following the outcome of last week’s national elections.

The ruling party’s national executive committee (NEC) - its highest decision-making body - will consider three names suggested by the party’s provincial executive committees in each case.

The party will also meet a few days after the inauguration of President Cyril Ramaphosa to decide who will chair the portfolio committees in Parliament.

The changes in the committees come after some senior ANC MPs failed to return to Parliament after they fell off the ruling party’s candidate list.

Some of the key committees are now left without chairpersons, and the ANC’s decisions will have to be taken within the next two weeks.

The structure and composition of the committees has to be aligned with a new, trimmed Cabinet.

ANC acting national spokesperson Dakota Legoete said on Sunday the NEC would meet after Ramaphosa had appointed his Cabinet, to consider people to chair committees.

Several committees, including water and sanitation, justice and correctional services, public enterprises and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, are without chairpersons as all their former chairs did not return to Parliament.

Lungi Mnganga-Gcabashe chaired the public enterprises committee, while Lulu Johnson chaired water and sanitation, and Madipoane Mothapo chaired the justice committee.

In the case of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), chaired by the leader of the African People’s Convention (APC), Themba Godi, Legoete said the party would decide whether to continue the tradition of allowing an opposition MP to lead it. This was after the APC did not get a seat in the National Assembly.

Godi had been chairperson of Scopa since 2005.

Legoete said: “The inauguration is on May 25 and the president will appoint his Cabinet on May 26. Whoever remains in the pool after that will be considered for the committees.”

He said the special national executive committee sitting on Monday would not consider the issue of committee chairpersons. The NEC meeting was to discuss the provincial premier candidates only.

The committees of Parliament have key issues outstanding to discuss, including Steinhoff and SAA. Steinhoff posted a loss of more than $4 billion.

The embattled retail giant was appearing before the joint committees of Parliament, including Scopa, the standing committee on finance, the appropriations committee and the public service and administration committee, over its collapse.

Political Bureau

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