Gauteng PEC bows to pressure to appoint female MEC
Johannesburg - A male MEC in Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s Cabinet is set to be removed from his post and replaced by a female after the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) gave up the fight against a reshuffle.
This newspaper understands that consultations have been set in motion this week among those who would be affected by the decision.
This comes as the party’s national executive committee (NEC) continues to exert pressure on Makhura to shake up his Cabinet of ten 50/50 MECs and make it 60% female and 40% male.
According to the ANC’s adopted guidelines, the 60/40 gender policy on Cabinet appointments must be adopted by provinces when the premier is not female.
Following its protracted defiance and defence of Makhura’s decision to depart from the rule, the PEC has abandoned the fight after the NEC insisted that it be reversed.
The ANC’s provincial spokesperson, Bonisile Modise, said the party’s intentions were not to defy the NEC instruction when it defended Makhura. “We do not have a problem with implementing the directives of the NEC, and we do not have a problem with applying the 60/40. We can even apply a 70/30, but we were saying this is not only about just making it a 60/40. Here in Gauteng it is more complex, and there are issues that we argued had to be looked at. But the NEC, after we debated the issue, said we must implement, which we will do,” Modise said.
Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi - also the ANC’s second in command in the province - is expected to escape the axe due to his seniority and the public confidence he enjoyed in his post, which saw demands for him being returned to the portfolio after Makhura initially made him finance MEC following the general elections.
A suggestion to remove current settlement MEC Lebogang Maile, who remains popular in the province, could upset many party members as he was seen to be representing a dominant grouping which could interpret his axing as a purge.
Cosatu and the SACP had earlier warned against the firing of roads and transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo, saying this would be equivalent to the side-lining of the alliance partners from deployment. Mamabolo is also the provincial secretary of the SACP.
Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku and economic development MEC Dr Kgosientso Ramokgopa were viewed as the most fit-for-purpose pair, as they possessed both educational background and industry experience in their respective portfolios.
Mamabolo and Ramokgopa were still viewed as the most likely to lose their posts, however.