Gauteng Premier David Makhura has a tough fight ahead as the ANC Women’s League has pledged to not back down in its bid to have a 60/40 gender split in the provincial cabinet.
Speaking to News24 on Friday, ANCWL spokesperson Thoko Xasa said they were not prepared to negotiate with Makhura on his Cabinet.
Makhura has been dragging his feet following a resolution taken by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) – which is its highest decision-making body in between conferences – for provinces with male premiers to appoint more women in their executives.
Makhura’s Cabinet selection produced a 50/50 gender split.
Sources within the ANC say Makhura has been at odds with himself on how to implement the decision.
Provincial secretary Jacob Khawe told News24 on Thursday that discussions were still under way on the issue, after the ANC in Gauteng was told to rectify its decision.
Xasa, however, said the decision of the NEC had to be carried out.
“We will not negotiate the 60/40 split. The decision must be carried out and there can be no exceptions,” she said.
News24 understands the league will write to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule to inform him of their stance on the matter.
A senior leader in the ANCWL said the structure was fed-up with the system of patriarchy. The source said the league had no time to lick its wounds after eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede was “unfairly removed”.
“Several of our leaders in the Women’s League are falling away. This one, they will not win. Makhura will not go against the NEC and, if the top six grants his wish, they will have to make concessions in the next NEC meeting. We are tired of the arrogance exhibited by our comrades,” the source said.
Two of Makhura’s MECs – Cogta and Human Settlements’ Lebohang Maile and Roads and Transport’s Jacob Mamabolo – were the names tipped to be on the chopping block.
The insider said Makhura would risk fracturing the provincial executive if he removed Maile.
“Makhura cannot remove Maile because he holds a considerable amount of clout in the province. We must not forget that Maile was also leading the election campaign for the province, which gives you an idea of his strength,” the source said.
City Press reported that Mamabolo would swap with Gauteng legislature deputy speaker Vuyo Mhlakaza.
Mamabolo would be deputy speaker and Mhlakaza would be the new MEC in his place, the newspaper reported.
The source said Makhura’s proposal to have Mamabolo redeployed was rejected by the SACP, its alliance partner.
Mamabolo is SACP provincial secretary in Gauteng.
When called for comment, national SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo directed News24 to its provincial structures, but said that key pillars of a reconfigured alliance were that they must be seen to be working together as a governing alliance.
Mashilo said all parties within the alliance must be part of government.
“It means that, when you look at the face of government at all levels, you must be able to see all faces of the alliance. [The] alliance is not made up of only one component, it composes of all the faces of the alliance. It’s not about positions, it is about the content of the programme they must take forward. The programme must reflect the ideals of the alliance. We cannot go on campaign only to come back with one face of the province,” he said.
Efforts to reach Gauteng SACP were unsuccessful.