PRETORIA - The ANC on Friday welcomed the redeployment of Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi back into the portfolio, but hastened to state that nobody had the monopoly to run the education sector.

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule told journalists in Pretoria: "We welcome Panyaza, as MEC for education but in the ANC there is nobody with monopoly of wisdom in education. The ANC deploys its cadres wherever they think ... cadres of the ANC are all-rounders. I was once an MEC of agriculture, I was also an MEC for police, roads and transport, I was an MEC for human settlements - I was an MEC in six departments before I became [Free State] premier. I was in Parliament, I was in communication committee ... I was in Cape Town for nine years."

"In the ANC you learn. You grow organically. You grow out there where the masses are."

Earlier on Friday, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said he was deploying Lesufi back to the education department, whose performance under his leadership has received general praise from parents.

Makhura had on Wednesday announced he was shifting Lesufi to head the finance portfolio in the sixth administration that will run Gauteng after the May 8 election.

"While there is an appreciation of the appointment of MEC Panyaza Lesufi to the finance and e-government portfolio, the overall non-partisan feedback from society, the education sector and the movement in general is that it will serve Gauteng better that he remains in the education portfolio to continue the good work of ensuring that our province is the leader and pioneer of educational transformation," Makhura said in a statement on Friday.

"Accordingly, I have now decided that MEC Panyaza Lesufi will return to the education portfolio ... I have further decided that MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko will be the MEC for finance and e-government."

The Congress of South African Students (Cosas), through its president Collen Macheke and deputy president Olothando Sonjalo, also welcomed Lesufi's return to the education portfolio in Gauteng.

"As Cosas we feel that that comrade Panyaza has played a very important role in developing the education system in Gauteng. Now Gauteng is leading in terms of education in the country. When we need change, he is able to relate to those changes, and he is also able to ensure that the current needs of our country via the education system are implemented. We welcome that decision made by the premier. We think it is progressive," said Sonjalo.

"One wishes perhaps one day comrade Lesufi becomes the minister of education ... in the future."

African News Agency (ANA)