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'New Eastern Cape MECs inexperienced, will be hard pressed to turn the province around'

May 29, 2019
'New Eastern Cape MECs inexperienced, will be hard pressed to turn the province around'

Port Elizabeth - Probably as expected, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape is not impressed with the list of MECs appointed by new Eastern Cape Premier, Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane, to his cabinet on Tuesday.

Mabuyane announced the appointment of members of the provincial executive Council (MECs) in Port Alfred.

Mabuyane's cabinet has six women and four men. He brought back Xolile Nqata, who was Eastern Cape MEC for Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) in the last administration; Mlungisi Mvoko, who was Eastern Cape MEC for Educaion; Babalo Madikizela, who was MEC for Human Settlements; and Weziwe Tikana, who was MEC for Safety and Liaison.

The newly appointed MECs are Fundile Gade, who was African National Congress (ANC) Chief Whip in the Eastern Cape Legislature; former Buffalo City Metro councillor, Sindiswa Gomba; former Sarah Baartman District Municipality Speaker, Nonqkubela Pieters; former OR Tambo District Municipality Executive Mayor, Nomakhosazana Meth; Fezeka Nkomonye-Bayeni of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi from the ANC Youth Youth League.

"The newly appointed Eastern Cape Cabinet, announced by Premier Oscar Mabuyane [on Tuesday afternoon], is the one of the most inexperienced that the Eastern Cape has had, and will be hard pressed to turn the province around," described Nqaba Bhanga, DA Eastern Cape Provincial Leader.

"While we congratulate the MECs on their appointments, and wish them well in their endeavours, we also know the challenges that lie ahead of them.

"Key areas of concern are the collapsing local government structures, with several municipalities across the province in dire need of urgent intervention, as well as the growing unemployment levels.

"The Eastern Cape has the highest unemployment rate in the country, at 37,4%."

'Eastern Cape MECs have their work cut out for them'

Bhanga said that these Cabinet members have their work cut for them if they are to put the Eastern Cape back on a path that will create jobs and deliver quality services to the people of this province.

"As the official opposition in the province, we are willing to work with the new executive in the interests of the people, and hope that they will be open to discussion on critical issues," he added.

"Where the DA governs, we have shown that even under harsh economic circumstances there can be growth, job creation, and improving living conditions for all – especially the poor.

"We are also committed to fulfilling our oversight role and will continue to hold the newly elected leadership to account."

Bhanga added that what the Eastern Cape needs is strong leadership, an unrelenting consequence management system that will hold those responsible of wrongdoing to account, and an honest commitment to serve the people of this province.

"The jury is still out as to whether this Cabinet will be able to do so."

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