New premier selection sparks debate

WEB_PHOTO_Zweli_Mkhize_ANC_200514

May 20, 2014: ANC Treasurer General, Zweli Mkhize is accompanied by ANC Deputy Secretary General, Jessie Duarte as they address the media and announce the names of the ANC premiers to be leading eight provinces, following the special NEC meeting yesterday

May 20, 2014: ANC Treasurer General, Zweli Mkhize is accompanied by ANC Deputy Secretary General, Jessie Duarte as they address the media and announce the names of the ANC premiers to be leading eight provinces, following the special NEC meeting yesterday

WEB_PHOTO_Zweli_Mkhize_ANC_200514

May 20, 2014: ANC Treasurer General, Zweli Mkhize is accompanied by ANC Deputy Secretary General, Jessie Duarte as they address the media and announce the names of the ANC premiers to be leading eight provinces, following the special NEC meeting yesterday

May 20, 2014: ANC Treasurer General, Zweli Mkhize is accompanied by ANC Deputy Secretary General, Jessie Duarte as they address the media and announce the names of the ANC premiers to be leading eight provinces, following the special NEC meeting yesterday

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC has released its list of Premiers in the eight provinces it governs and the announcement has been met with mixed reaction.

Its National Executive Committee met until late in the evening yesterday, finalising the appointment of preferred candidates submitted by provincial structures.

Nomvula Mokonyane has been replaced as the Premier of Gauteng. The ANC’s provincial Secretary General David Makhura will lead the province, and is seen as a popular choice, even though Mokonyane was widely seen as President Jacob Zuma’s preferred candidate for Gauteng Premier.

She was nominated to the ANC’s list for the National Assembly but declined. Gauteng’s provincial leadership reportedly recommended that she be replaced by Makhura. 

Makhura’s appointment was described by political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi as a move that signaled the ANC’s intention to address its 11% drop in support at the provincial polls. Makhura, he said, was viewed positively both within the ANC and from outside.

Makhura has been involved in politics since 1984, and in 1997 joined the trade union movement. He has served as the Gauteng provincial secretary and member of the PEC of the ANC since 2001, and an ex-officio member of the National Executive Committee since 2000.

He holds a Masters degree in Public Policy and Management, serves on the board of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation in a volunteer capacity and is a volunteer instructor at the Centre for Education in Economics and Finance (CEEF.Africa).

Gauteng is one of only three provinces that will be getting new premiers -- joined by the Eastern Cape and North West.

The ANC Eastern Cape chairperson Phumulo Masualle is the province’s newly announced premier in the place of Noxolo Kiviet, and Supra Mahumapelo takes over from Thandi Modise as North West premier.

The return to office of several other serving premiers has been less warmly received.

The return of premiers Ace Magashule, Sylvia Lucas, David Mabuza and Senzo Mchunu has been condemned by opposition party the DA as “another indication that the ANC are not committed to curbing corruption and promoting accountability in government”.

Free State Premier Magashule was implicated in a damning report by the National Treasury into contracts between his office and Letlaka Media. Magashule was also accused of abusing his power to secure permission for the Gupta plane to land at Waterkloof Airbase for a family wedding at Sun City.

Under Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza’s watch, the Auditor General found that unauthorized spenditure in the province increased from R1.3 million in 2011/12 to R136 million in 2012/13.

He also made headlines for spending R5 million in public funds on three luxury cars in a single year. His office defended this by claiming the Audi A8, BMW X5 and Range Rover were bought for security reasons and he had not bought any vehicles during his first two years in office.

Stan Mathabatha has been retained as the premier of Limpopo. He has reportedly lied publicly, after being sworn in as the new premier of Limpopo last year, about his private business interests.

Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas, inaugurated in May last year, made headlines when she used her official credit card to spend R53 159 on fast food during her first 10 weeks in office. The fact that the ANC announced only one female premier made for conversation on Twitter: