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Saul will be premier

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Outgoing premier, Sylvia Lucas, has welcomed the announcement and said she was looking forward to working with Saul.

Dr Zamani Saul.

CONGRATULATORY messages started pouring in yesterday after it was announced that Dr Zamani Saul would become the Northern Cape’s next premier, replacing Sylvia Lucas.

The ANC has announced that Saul will be the premier of the Northern Cape. The announcement was made following a special National Executive Committee meeting to discuss the nomination of the party’s premier candidates on Monday night.

The outgoing premier, Lucas, said that not only did she welcome the announcement but that she was looking forward to working with Saul.

“Both as the Office of the Premier and the entire provincial administration, we look forward to working with him in rolling out the programme of government and to fulfil the commitments made in the manifesto of the ruling party,” Lucas said in a statement.

She added that she was confident that as the country moves into the sixth administration Saul’s executive council will build on the foundation laid by his predecessors.

“This will propel us into a trajectory of renewal, unity, hope and prosperity. His leadership will go a long way in taking the Province to greater heights,” Lucas said.

She also thanked Northern Cape residents who battled the elements to make their mark.

“We further wish to salute the people of the Northern Cape for bracing the cold weather on May 8 to ensure they exercise their right to vote.

“Government is ready to work with all parties to ensure we deliver a quality life to our people. We are making preparations for the inauguration of the premier and subsequently the executive council, which will hit the ground running to roll out services to the people.”

Lucas assured residents that no stone will be left unturned to ensure that everyone in the Province is reached.

“We will work with civil society organisations, business and religious foundations to ensure that we grow the Northern Cape together. “

At the announcement made on Monday night, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) decision in appointing premiers in the provinces it had won in the recent general elections was guided by gender parity, unity and stability in ANC structures; youth and inter generational mix; experience; and integrity.

Magashule added that the NEC further agreed that in provinces where premiers are men, then at least 60% of the provincial executive must be constituted by women.

“There was consensus that in instances where the premier is a female there shall be at least 50/50 representation in the provincial executive. Speakers in all provinces will be women irrespective of whether the premier is male or female. Youth representation must be integrated.”

Although the top 10 on the ANC’s list in the Province consists of men, Saul will have to choose from the following to make up his 60%-female cabinet: Bernice Sinxeve, Newrene Claudine Klaaste, Galerekwe Mase Monapole, Nontobeko Eveline, Vilakazi, Limakatso Alfonsina Koloi, Lorraine Olifant, Martha Bartlett, Sanna Tities, Sylvia Nomandla Bloem, Kholeka Faith Ngwenya, Sofia Mosikatsi and Katriena Wilhelmina Dodds. These women made it onto the ANC’s provincial top 30 list.

Saul is only the second male ever to take the top position in the Northern Cape since Manne Dipico kicked off as premier of the first Northern Cape Provincial Legislature in 1994. He was followed by a spate of female premiers, including Dipuo Peters, Hazel Jenkins, Grizelda Cjiekella and Lucas.

There was a barrage of congratulatory messages on social media yesterday for Saul.

“The revolution needs a contingent of cadres who are equal to their political tasks . . . a contingent of cadres capable of fulfilling to the highest degree the requirements of the political tasks in each period (Le Duan). Congratulations Premier – elect, Comrade Zamani Saul,” Alvin Botes tweeted.

“Our incoming Premier of the Northern Cape province Dr Zamani Saul. The province will shine even further,” another tweet read.

“The baton is in good hands,” another stated, while one supporter tweeted: “The renewal of the ANC means having younger and dynamic leaders like Panyaza Lesufi, Ronald Lamola, Zamani Saul etc. The older generations must give advice and guide the young leaders.”

The ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), however, has expressed its disappointment that only two of the ANC’s eight provinces would be led by women.

The ANCWL had previously called on the party to ensure that half of the eight premiers were women.