Is Parks Tau heading to national government?

Parks Tau.
Parks Tau.
Image: PETER MOGAKI

As the list of Gauteng premier David Makhura's cabinet was announced early this morning, many would have been left wondering what happened to Parks Tau, the former mayor of the Johannesburg metro.

Tau had resigned as a Johannesburg councillor soon after it became clear that the ANC had secured enough votes during the May 8 elections in order to be able to form a provincial government.

Talk in ANC Gauteng circles was that he was destined for Makhura's new cabinet, along with other new faces Mbali Hlophe and Kgosientso 'Sputla' Ramokgopa.

But then the ANC Women's League threw a spanner in the works by successfully campaigning that in provinces where a man is chosen to be premier, 60% of his cabinet should be women.

That meant there could not be space for both Tau and Ramokgopa in the new executive.

And so Makhura went about lobbying Luthuli House for a solution. He seems to have found a sympathetic ear in President Cyril Ramaphosa who is now expected to announce Tau - who also serves as the ANC Gauteng treasurer - as one of his deputy ministers this afternoon.

Regarded as a party guru on local government issues, Tau would probably be most suitable as a deputy minister at Cogta. He was Johannesburg mayor until the ANC lost the city to a DA-led coalition government in 2016.

It is understood that during his tenure as the leader of the SA Local Governments Associations (Salga), Tau enjoyed a good working relationship with Ramaphosa, who was the country's deputy president at the time.

As he is not on the national list of parliamentarians, if Tau is appointed in the national government, his would be one of two appointments the president is constitutionally allowed to make from outside the National Assembly.

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