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By Alex Japho Matlala

Journalist


Limpopo may have female premier

ANC faces challenge in selecting Limpopo's new premier. Three nominees proposed for the role, marking potential historic shift.


ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and members of his national executive committee (NEC) will have a tough time this week when they choose the new Limpopo premier.

The Limpopo ANC, together with its tripartite alliance partners – the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the SA National Civics Organisation (Sanco) – held an extended special meeting this week to nominate three party members to succeed outgoing premier Stan Mathabatha.

His term of office at Mowaneng House, according to Limpopo provincial government spokesperson Ndavhe Ramakuela, ends on 12 June when a new legislature is inaugurated.

Names agreed on

“We have agreed on the names of health MEC and PEC member Phophi Ramathuba; sports, art and culture MEC and ANC provincial treasurer Nakedi Sibanda-Kekana; and the only male, Basikop Rodgers Makamu, the ANC provincial deputy secretary and the cooperative governance, human settlements and traditional affairs MEC.”

Limpopo is the only province in South Africa that has never had a woman as a premier.

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

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The first Limpopo premier was Ngwako Ramahlodi, followed by Sello Moloto. Cassel Mathale was the third premier and was replaced by Mathabatha in 2012. Ramathuba stands a better chance of been appointed after she came made No 1 on the ANC’s provincial list, with Sibanda-Kekana second.

Mathabatha will probably be appointed as a MP

Makamu has vast experience in local government and ANC politics after he served two terms in Mathabatha’s provincial administration and in the Limpopo ANC provincial executive.

Mathabatha will probably be appointed as a member of parliament under the in-coming administration.

He will, however, remain the ruling party’s provincial chair until after the next provincial ANC elections, which will probably happen after the 2026 municipal elections.

“Limpopo is ready to be led by a female premier,” said Mathabatha.

“When I finally step down as premier of this province after the national elections, I will go a happy man.”

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