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Mpumalanga premier appoints new cabinet

The newly elected premier appointed some unfamiliar faces as MECs, while others remain.

The new premier of Mpumalanga, Mandla Ndlovu, has assembled a strong team to help him and his administration speed up service delivery in the province.

This is the view of the leading political party, the ANC, through its provincial secretary, Muzi Chirwa, who spoke to Lowvelder shortly after the announcement of the new MECs.

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The newspaper earlier reported that Ndlovu would have difficulty selecting his cabinet, given the vast experience of members at his disposal.

The paper also hinted at the possibility that Ndlovu may want to separate the Provincial Treasury from the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and as predicted, he announced the same on Tuesday June 18.

This means that the Provincial Treasury will be a stand-alone department and will be spearheaded by the former MEC for education, Bonakele Majuba, and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism will be spearheaded by MEC Makhosazane Masilela, the former Provincial Legislature Speaker.

MEC Makhosazane Masilela.

In an unexpected twist, Ndlovu merged the departments of human settlements and co-operative governance and traditional affairs. These two departments will now be one and headed by the deputy of the provincial ANC, Speed Mashilo.

MEC Speed Mashilo.

When explaining his reasons for the merger, Ndlovu said they wanted to speed up service delivery in local government.

Also, as anticipated, he retained the services of MEC Sasekani Manzini who served in the Sixth Administration.

Manzini returns to her previous portfolio as MEC for health. Also making a comeback is Nompumelelo Hlophe, who now heads the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs.

Surprisingly though, the South African Communist Party’s provincial secretary, Lucky Mbuyane, was left out. Mbuyane was tipped to come in and replace the visibly exhausted Majuba who served in the previous administration.
Ndlovu, however, made two new notable introductions into his cabinet and gave two hard-working administrators a chance to prove their mettle.

They are Cathy Dlamini and Jackie Macie, who both come with vast experience.

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Dlamini will head the educational portfolio, while Macie takes on the safety and security department.

To further cement the long-standing alliance, Ndlovu has rewarded a Cosatu member the portfolio of culture, sports and recreation, which will be headed by veteran Fidel Mlombo.

“We believe that this is a dream team any premier would wish for. The team is balanced and filled with experienced players who will help us speed up service delivery. We welcome these new MECs and hope they will work to change the lives of our masses,” said Chirwa.

When announcing his team, Ndlovu committed to serving the people first.

“These services will never be bought by mere speeches. We need to go beyond our comfort zones and deliver these services to our people together. We will strengthen the capacity of the infrastructure departments to implement their projects. I accept the responsibility of ensuring that the people are better serviced. Together with the capable men and women I have appointed, we will reach out and build a government that represents the very best ethos. Our pledge is to govern Mpumalanga well for the benefit of all its people, regardless of race, colour or creed,” said Ndlovu.

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