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‘ANC will not axe Sylvia’


An offer was reportedly made to deploy Lucas as a member of Parliament, which she has apparently turned down

Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas

THE ANC in the Northern Cape has dismissed any suggestions of removing Premier Sylvia Lucas from power, despite several sources within the party indicating that the provincial working committee had resolved to replace her with ANC provincial chairperson Zamani Saul before the end of the month.

The decision would be in line with the outcome of the Colesberg conference last year.

An offer was reportedly made to deploy Lucas as a member of Parliament, which she has apparently turned down.

Sources said that a recommendation would be sent to Luthuli House motivating for her removal as premier.

“Should Lucas be removed, we can expect another cabinet reshuffle. There are a host of MECs and HODs who are not happy with this development as they stand to lose their positions too. Those who were loyal to Nkosazana-Dlamini and former president Jacob Zuma are being purged,” said the sources.

Lucas’ supporters, however, believe that she will refuse to step down.

“We were expecting this move, it was only a matter of time. The Colesberg conference resolved to make the ANC provincial chairperson the premier of the Northern Cape. Lucas will not leave without a fight.

“There is no basis to remove her, as the only reason cited is that she refuses to follow the mandate. This is not the North West where there are riots and massive corruption taking place. They cannot accuse the premier of under performance.”

They added that should Lucas be removed, she would be the fourth premier to be unseated, along with the Free State, Mpumalanga and the North West premiers.

“The attempt to remove Lucas is a diverting of the attention of President Cyril Ramaphosa in resolving the crisis in the North West. Unlike the Premier of the North West, Supra Mahumapelo, Lucas is an ANC national executive member, so it will be more difficult to remove her. They should wait until the next national general elections to ensure that there is a smooth transition in the hand over of leadership.”

Another of Lucas’ supporters said that another provincial cabinet shake-up, less that three months since the last reshuffle, would not be a good reflection on the leadership of the Province.

“We are not bothered about the ambitions to replace the premier. This is nothing new and we doubt whether the president will entertain the proposal of the PEC (provincial executive committee).”

ANC provincial secretary Deshi Ngxanga stated that there was no decision taken by the PEC to remove Lucas.

“We made a commitment when the PEC was elected to strengthen the interface between the ANC and government and are working towards it. As a result, we have, together with the premier, agreed to meet fortnightly to discuss matters of interest. We made a commitment to ensure that the premier becomes the best performing premier in the country, and that is where we are headed as a PEC,” said Ngxanga .

“The delivery of services to our people remains important to us, and we believe that good working relations between the ANC and government will result in delivering good quality services to our people.”

The Premier’s Office did not respond to media enquiries.

Her office did, however, put out her itinerary on social media for an outreach programme from May 16 to 18, including handing out dignity packs in Upington, visiting Vedanta Mines in Aggeneys, as well as the inauguration of solar energy plants in Pofadder.