The ANC in Mpumalanga has advised Premier David Mabuza to reshuffle his cabinet in a bid to strengthen the capacity of the municipalities, the party said on Wednesday.
ANC provincial secretary Mandla Ndlovu told the African News Agency (ANA) that the reshuffle would be implemented soon, but did not immediately provide the date. He did not rule out the possibility that some members of Mabuza’s cabinet might lose their jobs.
“That (axing of MECs) might happen but that is the prerogative of the premier,” said Ndlovu.
The ANC’s move to bolster local government capacity has already seen Social Development MEC Nomsa Mtsweni being redeployed to become mayor of Thembisile Hani Local Municipality. Mtsweni’s counterpart in Public Works, Roads and Transport Dumisile Nhlengethwa has been redeployed to become Speaker of Msukaligwa Local Municipality, said Ndlovu.
Mtsweni will replace former Mpumalanga premier Ndaweni Mahlangu, who took over the reins of mayor of the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality after the 2011 municipal elections. The municipality was placed under administration in April 2010 following allegations of corruption and maladministration, which sparked service delivery protests in Kwaggafontein and surrounding villages.
“We are taking local government very seriously because it deals with key issues,” said Ndlovu.
“The capacity is there [at local government level] but we want to strengthen it. We have two vacancies in the cabinet that must be filled. The premier might also use this opportunity to strengthen his cabinet and we will look after all our comrades who might be affected by the reshuffle.”
The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in February this year called on Mabuza to reshuffle his cabinet, saying his MEC’s were “useless looters”.
Ndlovu insisted the planned reshuffle was neither inspired by the ANCYL’s call nor the drop of the voter support of the ruling party in the August 3 elections.
Spokeswoman for the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality Simphiwe Mashiyane said the municipality had “improved a lot” in terms of service delivery and engagement with communities over the past five years.
Provincial leader of the Democratic Alliance James Masango said his party preferred to wait and see who would replace Mtsweni and Nhlengethwa as MECs before commenting on the reshuffle.
Mabuza’s spokesperson, Zibonele Mncwango, said the premier would announce the reshuffle in due course.
The ANCYL could not be reached for comment.
– African News Agency (ANA)