Good morning members of the media. The first point we want to make clear is that there is no crisis that has caused us to make changes in the Cabinet. The changes we are making are informed by recent developments which I will explain to you and the people of our province.
Last month, I acceded to the request by the former MEC of Public Works & Infrastructure who asked to be released from the Executive. This necessitated that I undertake an intense process of finding a long-term solution of filling the vacancy to the conclusion of this term. In doing so, I also had to consider the fact that we are halfway through the term of the 6th Administration which is more like the second half of a soccer match . Our prize at the end of this term is the achievement of the ANC 2019 Manifesto commitments. We want to go back to our people in 2024 and say we achieved what they sent us to do in government.
Consequently, I have decided to move some MECs to new portfolios and I have also appointed three new MECs to the Executive with the intention of adding agility in the provision of services to our communities. I have then decided to make the following changes:
- Hon. Xolile Nqata moves from Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs to Transport and Community Safety.
- Hon. Nonceba Kontsiwe moves from Human Settlements to Sports, Recreation, Arts & Culture.
- Hon. Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi moves from Social Development to Human Settlements.
The new Members of the Executive Council are:
a) Hon. Zolile Williams who will take over as MEC for COGTA
b) Hon. Bukiwe Fanta is the new MEC for Social Development
c) Hon. Ntombovuyo Nkopane is the new MEC Public Works & Infrastructure
This team ticks the right boxes in terms of the requisite leadership skills, the 60/40 percent gender equity in favour of women MECs, and the geographic spread of the province. As you know Mr Zolile Williams who is now MEC for Cogta was a serial achiever of clean audits at the Joe Gqabi District Municipality. His experience in the local government environment will certainly bring about improvements in audit outcomes and functioning of our municipalities.
Ms Fanta who is now our MEC for Social Development is an activist for women’s emancipation. And we all know that the majority of the people who are serviced by Social Development are women, the elderly, and children. We believe she is the right person currently to lead our efforts of serving our vulnerable groups. We have many families that live in poverty and inhumane conditions with some headed by children. She will work with her team and NGOs to alleviate the plight of such families.
Ms Ntombovuyo Nkopane will build on the solid foundation laid by former MEC Madikizela of an agile Public Works and Infrastructure Department. We want to see more previously disadvantaged contractors growing with the support of the department and the transformation of the property sector utilising the government property portfolio.
As you all know unemployment is still rife in our province. It is our considered view that DEDEAT is stable and must continue to work with our public entities to attract more investments in our province to create jobs. MEC Mvoko remains tasked with that work, as well as leading Provincial Treasury to ensure good governance in the entire administration.
I have taken time to convey my gratitude to the outgoing Members of the Executive Council, Hon. Fezeka Nkomonye and Hon. Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe. I have also welcomed the incoming MECs and expressed my expectations on the deliverables that need to be achieved. In this regard, I have served them with draft Delivery Agreements that need to be signed before the end of this month. That’s how urgent the task is. I have told them unambiguously that I expect them to be amongst the communities and stakeholders we serve all the time. We are not in office to seat in airconditioned offices, we are here to serve the masses out there. We must know what the situation is on the ground where our people reside.
I call upon the Heads of Departments, government officials, and all stakeholders in the affected departments to offer the new MECs maximum support in our collective endeavor to fight unemployment, poverty, and inequality. Umsebenzi abazowenza ayingoweziqu zabo, ngowokuziza uphuhliso nenkqubela phambili eluntwini lwaseMpuma Kapa.
I thank you.