Mashatile tough on crime

Kingdom Mabuza and Sapa

Kingdom Mabuza and Sapa

Newly elected Gauteng Premier Paul Mashatile talked tough on crime in his first address to the provincial legislature, describing it as the "number one enemy".

Mashatile, the former MEC for finance and economic affairs, was elected unopposed yesterday to succeed Mbhazima Shilowa, who resigned out of loyalty to former president Thabo Mbeki.

"Crime is our number one enemy," Mashatile said. "As government we want our people to live in a crime-free society.

"In the coming months we will strengthen our crime prevention efforts by building a strong movement against crime in partnership with our people and civil society organisations."

He said in the next six months the provincial government would intensify the war against crime, transform hostels into family units, build houses and ensure that eligible recipients of social grants receive them.

He made only one change to Shilowa's team by replacing himself as the MEC of finance. That job goes to the ANC's former provincial chief whip Mandla Nkomfe, while Lindiwe Maseko takes over as chief whip.

Democratic Alliance leader Jack Bloom welcomed Mashatile's election and encouraged him to work with the DA and in the interest of the province.

Mashatile was MEC for housing between 1999 and 2004 and MEC for transport and public works from 1996 to 1999.