The ANC meanwhile welcomed the provincial cabinet reshuffle and believed it would strengthen the capacity of government ‘to change lives’
THE DA in the Northern Cape believes that some of the new provincial cabinet members fall short with regards to experience in their respective portfolios.
Some community members are upset that ANC regional chairperson Mangaliso Matika was not appointed during Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul’s provincial cabinet reshuffle on Friday.
“We wanted a young MEC and Matika was promised the position of MEC for the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture,” they said.
DA provincial leader Andrew Louw stated that the new MEC for Health, Maruping Lekwene, would have to implement decisive leadership to tackle financial mismanagement and underperforming health care services.
“He has a huge job ahead of him and the well-being of over 100 000 citizens of this Province are depending on him,” said Louw.
He added that the MEC for Agriculture, Land Reform, Rural Development, Environment and Nature Conservation, Mase Manopole, lacked experience in the agriculture sector, which is faced with the double disaster of the drought and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The agriculture department is in critical need of unbiased leadership to ensure that all farmers, regardless of their race, get the support that they need to sustain the country’s food basket,” said Louw.
He believed that the MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, Deserey Finies, as a newcomer, lacked experience as a member of the provincial legislature.
“Only time will tell as to what her competencies entail.”
He added that the only two MECs to retain their positions – Bentley Vass as MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs and Education MEC Mac Jack, appeared to have the backing of the premier.
“They will have to become much more responsive to their mandates in order to win the confidence of the public. This comes at a time when more Northern Cape municipalities are collapsing and issues of pupil safety are increasingly under the spotlight as schools reopen in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Louw believed that the return of MEC for Roads and Public Works Fufe Makatong was a “big surprise”.
“It is public knowledge that she failed dismally to turn the Health Department around and it is questionable as to what she can actually contribute to the provincial government.
“Regardless of who is in the premier’s cabinet, we can only hope that they get to work quickly. We are in serious trouble as a country and as a Province and if they do not act now, the provincial government, like our municipalities and Eskom, runs the very real risk of a breakdown,”
Meanwhile, ANC provincial secretary Deshi Ngxanga welcomed the reshuffle and believed it would strengthen the capacity of government and the state of service delivery.
“The MECs in their respective portfolios possess leadership qualities that will contribute immensely to change lives and serve the ANC with excellence,” said Ngxanga.
He congratulated newly-appointed MECs Makatong and Finies, who would be taking office at the Department of Public Works and Department of Sport, Arts and Culture respectively.
“The ANC provincial executive committee conveys its gratitude to Martha Bartlett and Bernice Sinxeve, who were deployed to Parliament, for serving with dignity and integrity,” added Ngxanga.