Oscar Mabuyane was sworn in as the new Eastern Cape Premier. Photo: ANC EC

Port Elizabeth - Oscar Lubabalo Mabuyane was sworn in as the new Premier of the Eastern Cape on Wednesday. 

The sitting of the Provincial Legislature got under way earlier at the Provincial Legislature in Bisho. 

Sworn in as Speaker was Helen August, Deputy Speaker is Mlibo Qoboshiyane, Chief Whip Loyiso Magqashela and Deputy Chief Whip Kholiswa Fihlani. 

In his acceptance speech, Mabuyane said that the African National Congress (ANC) owed people a great deal of service for their continued loyalty. 

"The resounding mandate they have given us is not for us to feel triumphant over our opponents. It is rather a reminder to the ANC of its greater calling to lead the South African society into a prosperous nation, wherein all citizens live together in harmony with equal opportunities and enjoying a better quality of life." 

Mabuyane said he would soon announce names of his provincial cabinet. "These will be men and women who are fit for purpose, and who will ensure that we write a new chapter in our journey of creating a Better Life for All. A chapter of investing in key sectors of our economy to create jobs for the young and old; a chapter of opening opportunities for SMMEs so that they can participate in the economy of our province and create jobs," said Mabuyane. 

He further thanked the ANC for choosing him to lead the sixth administration. "This is a responsibility I take with great humility knowing fully well that I am bequeathed with an opportunity to contribute towards the achievement of a project that our glorious movement started in 1994." 

Following the conclusion of proceedings, Mabuyane will host his first media briefing as Premier at State House in Bisho later on Wednesday. 

The DA Eastern Cape Legislature Caucus. Front row (left to right): Jane Cowley, Nqaba Bhanga, Bobby Stevenson, Edmund van Vuuren. Second row: Retief Odendaal, Yusuf Cassim, Nomvano Zibonda. Back Row: Sanele Magaqa, Vicky Knoetze and Marshall von Buchenroder. Picture: Supplied


Meanwhile, 10 Democratic Alliance (DA) members were sworn in at the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature and will act as the official opposition in the province. The ten MPLs include the DA's Eastern Cape leader Nqaba Bhanga, DA chief whip in the Provincial Legislature Bobby Stevenson and the Federal Leader of the DA's Student Organisation Yusuf Cassim. Stevenson is the longest serving member, now in his fifth term. 

Bhanga said the DA's role as the official opposition in the province had never been more important and it would hold the ANC government accountable. "We will not oppose and critique just for the sake of it, we will be a complimentary and robust opposition, that will engage in the practice of constructive opposition. Where we are in government, we have shown that even under harsh economic circumstances there can be growth, job creation, and the improvement of living conditions for all – especially the poor." 

African News Agency/ANA