Mpumalanga cabinet reshuffle: MECs will have performance metrics, says premier

Mandla Khoza Freelance journalist
Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane has reshuffled the Mpumalanga cabinet.
Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane has reshuffled the Mpumalanga cabinet.

Mpumalanga premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane has fired four MECs in a cabinet reshuffle announced on Wednesday.

Economic development MEC Pat Ngomane, Norah Mahlangu of human settlements, community safety's Gabisile Shabalala and Gillion Mashego of roads and transport were shown the door in Mtshweni-Tsipane's first ever reshuffle since taking office in 2019. 

After firing the four, Mtshweni-Tsipane also rang other changes moving several MECs to new portfolio while announcing four new MECs.

Mtshweni-Tsipane said her reshuffling is to bolster capability and effectiveness in delivering services in the province. 

The new members of the executive council include ANC Nkangala district chairperson Speedy Mashilo who will be taking over the department of human settlements; Busisiwe Shiba will be responsible for the department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs while Vusi Mkhatshwa who will be in charge of the finance, economic development and tourism.

Mohita Latchminarain will be the new MEC of public works, roads and transport. She and Mkhatshwa were accused by her husband Mahendra of being involved in an affair. In 2019 Latchminarain's husband Mahendra  wrote a heartfelt plea to premier Mtshweni-Tsipane to intervene. 

On Wednesday the premier said she "decided to reconfigure the executive council taking a number of considerations into account". She cited the need to  include members who "embody commitment, hard work, integrity and the non-negotiable commitment to bettering the lives of our people".

"It is in the spirit of optimising our effectiveness and ensuring that we deliver better services to the people of Mpumalanga while calibrating the provincial economy, that I announce changes to the executive component of the provincial government,” said Mtshweni-Tsipane. 

Mashilo replaces Mahlangu, while Mkhatshwa replaces Ngomane and Latchminarain is replacing ANC convenor of the Ehlanzeni regional task team  Gillion Mashego. 

Mtshweni-Tsipane also moved MEC Vusi Shongwe from the department of agriculture, rural development, land and environmental affairs to the department of community safety, security and liaison which was held by Gabisile Shabalala.

As Shongwe returns to the portfolio he had held in  the past, under former premier David Mabuza, Mandla Msibi replaces him as the new MEC for the department of agriculture, rural development, land and environmental affairs.

MEC Thandi Shongwe was moved from the department of social development to the department of culture, sport and recreation while Lindiwe Ntshalintshali will be responsible for the department of social development. 

“The performance of the newly constituted executive will be monitored against specific outcomes and where there is non-performance, decisive action will be taken. The composition of the executive council also re-affirms our commitment to advancing the development of capable female leaders who will continue to constitute 50% of the executive council," the premier said.

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