Pretoria – Newly elected Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi announced his new cabinet on Friday, promising residents that he will change the face of townships and added that his new team is competent, beyond reproach and not attached to scandals.
Lesufi was speaking on Friday afternoon before releasing the names of the new executive members who will be assisting him in leading the province.
His cabinet reshuffle comes after he was elected premier during a special sitting of the provincial legislature on Thursday.
Although there are no major changes in the new executive members, Lesufi appointed more women, saying this was done deliberately to support gender equality.
Lesufi said his team will hit the ground running and focus on fighting crime, corruption, vandalism and lawlessness.
“We want to move immediately to change the living conditions in the townships, informal settlements and hostels. Those are the three things that we are going to accelerate.
“If there’s something we also must do, it is to change the face of hostels, we still want them to be family units… We must not have hostels flowing with sewerage and people bathing with cold water because there’s no electricity. Hostels must be fit for human consumption.”
He also went as far as promising the youth land, saying they will move away from giving young people RDPs but they will give them land which already has tar roads, water, electricity and a sewerage system.
“We are going to release a lot of land to the young people …You can just build on your own … That’s the massive orientation that we want to take.”
Lesufi also made a bold statement on the controversial e-tolls, saying his priority is to have them scrapped.
“The mandate of the new MEC for finance is to formulate a new revenue method that will be utilised to take the debt away from Sanral. His first mandate is to move quickly and scrap the e-tolls, we need that new revenue model.”
He added that the Finance MEC must also focus on making sure that the province has its first State bank to elevate the lives of people, particularly those living in the townships.
“He has a mandate to establish a State bank, we run a R150bn budget, and people that have been banking with us for the last 28 years or so, they were just taking our money and not doing anything. We want to change the face of townships.
“Townships must use the State bank to apply for bonds to improve their houses. We can’t keep townships as four bedroom houses, that was done by apartheid, we can’t continue with that.”
New members of executive are:
– Faith Mazibuko, who retains her position as Gauteng's MEC for Safety and Security;
– Kedibone Diale will the be new MEC for Transport and Logistics;
– Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko has been appointed as the new Health MEC;
– Tasneem Motara will serve as the new MEC for Economic Development;
– Audrey Winifred Morakane-Mosupye is now MEC for Sports;
– Mbali Hlophe is MEC for Social Development and Agriculture;
– Jacob Mamabolo will now be the MEC for Finance;
– Matome Chiolane replaces Lesufi’s former portfolio and will be the MEC of Education; and
– Lebogang Maile will remain as the MEC for Human Settlement.