The Eastern Cape legislature will have its first sitting for the sixth administration on Wednesday, with 63 members representing six different parties expected to be sworn in.
The national governing African National Congress will have the highest number of provincial legislators at 44, followed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) with 10, Economic Freedom Fighters with five, and the United Democratic Movement with two seats.
Newcomer African Transformation Movement and the Freedom Front Plus will have one representative each.
The house of public representatives will also elect its office bearers such as the premier, the speaker, and the deputy speaker.
ANC provincial chairperson Oscar Mabuyane is set to become premier following his appointment by the party’s National Executive Committee.
The ANC in the province has appointed Helen Sauls-August, who served as member of the executive council first for human settlement and then for health during the previous administration, as the new Eastern Cape speaker.
The party retained Mlibo Qhoboshiyane as deputy speaker, a post he was redeployed to during a provincial cabinet reshuffle last year.
Loyiso Magqashela will be provincial chief whip, deputised by Kholiswa Fihlani.
ANC provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi said the new party deployees were fairly balanced in terms of age and gender.
“We have appointed people with substantive capabilities engendering gender parity and representative body, that’s also sensitive to [the] non-racial character of the ANC,” Ngcukayitobi said.
The party had invited its integrity commission to look into allegations of corruption of premier-elect Mabuyane and treasurer Babalo Madikizela, Ngcukayitobi added.
Madikizela and Mabuyane have been accused of benefiting from payments made to businessman Lonwabo Bam by the Mbizana local municipality for work that Bam’s plant hire company had not done.
Madikizela reportedly received a Bentley Bentayga which retails for about R4 million, while an East London draftsman named Allan Morran, who revamped Mabuyane’s house, was paid from the same account.
Mabuyane and Madikizela have both vehemently denied the allegations.
“We are still receiving reports regarding the matter of allegations and affidavits – there are submissions that we processing,” Ngcukayitobi said.
“We have also at the behest of the affected individuals invited the services of the Provincial Integrity Commission.”
– African News Agency