Limpopo is set for a female premier

A woman may soon hold the positions of Limpopo's ANC provincial chair and premier, come the stepping down of Stanley Mathabatha.

Limpopo is ready to be led by a woman, both as premier and ANC provincial chair,” according to current Limpopo ANC provincial chair Stanley Mathabatha.

Mathabatha made the announcement at an ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) Lekgotla at the weekend.

ALSO READ: 85% of votes in Limpopo will go to ANC – premier

Limpopo is the only province in the country that has not had a female premier since 1994.

Mpumalanga was in the same position until Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane took office on 20 March, 2018 and KwaZulu-Natal too until it elected Nomusa Ncube-Dube in August 2022.

“Limpopo is ready to be led by a female premier. When I finally step down as premier of this province after the national elections, I will go a happy man,” said Mathabatha on the sidelines of an ANC meeting.

He said when he joined the province in 2013, six provincial departments were placed under administration.

“Six others received either adverse, disclaimer or qualified audit opinions from the auditor-general (AG). “Today, we have only two departments with unqualified audit opinions. Today, Limpopo is a disclaimer-free province,” he said.

ALSO READ: ‘We still want economic freedom’ – Stan Mathabatha re-elected as ANC chair in Limpopo

Mathabatha also said he had changed the outlook of the Limpopo ANC in his 10 years of leadership. “When I was elected unopposed in 2014, the ANC PEC and its branches were in tatters. But now both branches, regions and the PEC are a breath of fresh air.

“In 2014, Limpopo was the second-last nationally, in terms of [ANC] membership, [but] now we are the second-biggest province after KwaZulu-Natal,” Mathabatha said.

Before 2014, he found the ANC regional and provincial structures under the control of interim task teams. “But today we are stable and the best-run province in the country, according to Luthuli House, which party secretary-general Fikile Mbalula can attest to.”

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa remembers Limpopo’s first lady as a dedicated activist

Three MECs serving under Mathabatha’s administration are being touted to replace him as first Limpopo female premier.

They are current ANC deputy provincial chair and roads and community safety MEC Florence Radzilani, ANC PEC member and public works MEC Nkakareng Rakgoale and another PEC member and health MEC Phophi Ramathuba.

Three men, deputy provincial secretary Basikopo Makamu, who is also cooperative governance, human settlement and traditional affairs MEC, PEC member and agriculture and land reform MEC Thabo Mokone and PEC member and economic development, environment and tourism MEC Rodgers Monama are also being touted to replace him.

Read more on these topics

Elections Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits