ANC Gauteng in dilemma over which male MEC to drop for a woman

Gauteng premier David Makhura.
Gauteng premier David Makhura.

The ANC Gauteng provincial executive committee (PEC) cannot come to an agreement on which male MEC to drop from premier David Makhura’s executive for a female.

So much so that provincial secretary Jacob Khawe is pre-empting that they might have to go back and plead with the ANC national executive committee (NEC) to ask for a deference on the six women and four men gender split in the executive.

Khawe told SowetanLIVE that as it stands, the executive represents a vast representation which makes it difficult for them to drop one MEC.

“We took an opportunity to engage with the NEC to explain that all these names represent a certain imperative. We want the alliance to be represented, same with the regions, we want those with formal qualifications and we also want to ensure there is continuity,” said Khawe.

“If you touch one name, it must be an imperative that we can do without.”

At its meeting, the NEC resolved that Makhura’s cabinet did not meet the gender parity requirements and demanded that the PEC convene a sitting to address the issue.

The ANC Gauteng was taken to task to explain why it deviated from the NEC April decision that where a premier is a man, there must be six female MECs and four male MECs.

As it stands there are five female MECs and an equal number of male MECs. This does not meet the requirements.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the provincial executive composition was discussed and the consensus was that Makhura had deviated.

“Yes, we discussed Gauteng, the policy of the ANC is 50% parity between men and women in all structures of the ANC right across the board. The NEC discussed the fact that Gauteng had deviated,” said Duarte.

Sowetan understands that ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule was ordered to apologise for accepting Makhura’s request to deviate from the decision after some members informed the NEC that Makhura had spoken to Magashule about his wish to move away from the required parity.

The name of Jacob Mamabolo, who serves as the MEC for roads and transport and is also provincial secretary of the SA Communist Party (SACP), was touted as a possible sacrificial lamb but the SACP and Cosatu are said to have strongly come out against this.

Makhura has to choose between Mamabolo, education MEC Panyaza Lesufi; MEC for economic development and agriculture Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa; MEC for health Dr Bandile Masuku; and Lebogang Maile, MEC for human settlements.

Khawe confirmed that the SACP in the province reached out to them to seek clarity and explain that Mamabolo was the only MEC representing the ANC’s alliance and therefore dropping him would not be ideal.

The PEC is still in discussions but have so far not been able to come to an agreement. They will then meet with the NEC officials to present their case.

“We want to present our case to the NEC to say we have represented women in all other structures including having a female speaker [Ntombi Mekgwe] and deputy speaker [Thoko Magagula].

“And also explain that six out of 10 committees are chaired by women. It’s not that we don’t think there is a better woman. We want to say 'hear us we are not arrogant, hear us we are not against the decision',” said Khawe.

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