Cabinet balancing act stumps David Makhura

Re-elected Gauteng premier David Makhura./SUPPLIED
Re-elected Gauteng premier David Makhura./SUPPLIED

Gauteng premier David Makhura has delayed appointing his cabinet due to a battle for gender representation in the country's economic hub.

Makhura's biggest headache lies with adhering to the ANC party's policy of 60% of the executive council members (exco) being women.

Gauteng is one of the eight provinces the ANC retained after the elections and because of its premier being male is expected to field more women in the executive.

The policy was taken at a special national executive committee meeting this month that where premiers are men, most of the exco should be women.

Only the Free State and Mpumalanga have female premiers.

"The premier is still finalising consultation on the matter within the governing party. A new date will be communicated in due course," read a statement from Makhura's office.

Sowetan has learnt that Makhura has had a difficult task in appointing a cabinet dominated by women. In 2014 Makhura appointed six women and four men to make up the provincial executive.

With the appointment of former Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau and former mayor of Tshwane Kgosientso Ramokgopa as members of the provincial legislature, the premier would not risk having them as backbenchers.

The duo are both influential in their respective party structures, with Tau being the provincial treasurer of the ANC in the province while Ramokgopa is the former Tshwane chairperson and regional task team convener.

Makhura's headache is also compounded by the need to reward those who backed him in the run-up to the elective conference; ANC provincial deputy chairperson Panyaza Lesufi or ANC provincial head of elections Lebogang Maile.

The SACP, which has had an influence in galvanising support for the ANC to retain the province, is also unlikely to be excluded in the exco.

This means that former MEC for infrastructure development and SACP provincial secretary Jacob Mamabolo is likely to come back.

Former MEC for safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane has been appointed as the chairperson of committees. The position gives her oversight powers and control over the provincial legislature committee chairpersons.

Her appointment to the legislature gives space for Makhura to fill in the gap with another female member.

Yesterday, KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala announced his cabinet with six females and four male MECs.

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