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By Alex Japho Matlala


Limpopo premier Phophi Ramathuba ‘fights for women’

Phophi Ramathuba, Limpopo's first female premier, aims for 50% women in her Cabinet and pledges to fight for women's rights and leadership roles.

Limpopo’s first female premier, Phophi Ramathuba, says her appointment is a victory for the empowerment of women in the province.

In her acceptance speech at the Limpopo provincial legislature in Lebowakgomo, Ramathuba said she would always fight for “women to take their rightful place at work and in leadership positions”.

She added: “These are people who know the colour and the pain of poverty.”

Don’t be surprised if provincial Cabinet 50% women

She said people should not be surprised if 50% of the members of her incoming provincial Cabinet were women, although this would only be “after thorough consultations with my party, the ANC and the alliance partners”.

The province also welcomed 64 members of the new provincial legislature. A total of 48 seats were taken by the ANC, nine by the official opposition, the Economic Freedom Fighters, four by the Democratic Alliance, one by uMkhonto weSizwe party, one by the United African Transformation party and one by Freedom Front Plus.

The new MPLs will work with the Limpopo provincial government to speed up the rate of service delivery and enforce the commitment of the legislature to its leaders and people for the next five years.

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Makoma Makhurupetje and Tebogo Mamorobela, both members of the ANC provincial executive committee, replaced Rosemary Molapo and Tshitereke Matibe as speaker and deputy speaker respectively.

Tackling water problems

Among many of her challenges, Ramathuba will be expected to tackle the escalating water problems currently facing the more than 5.8 million people in the province.

Other issues include increasing the number of paved roads, making tourist destinations attractive to tourists, fighting youth unemployment, banning the use of consultants in government tenders, bridging the gap between urban and rural areas, fighting tribalism and putting more resources into the fight against gender-based violence.

ANC veteran and respected senior citizen in Limpopo Tshenuwani Farisani described Ramathuba as a brilliant young leader, who will bring change to the province.

Ramathuba elected unopposed

The Limpopo ANC said Ramathuba was elected unopposed as the premier of the seventh Limpopo provincial administration.

“Her election and that of the speaker and deputy speaker of the legislature is a clear sign that women within the ranks and file of the ANC are capable to lead all sectors of society.”

ALSO READ: ANC to name Limpopo premier late, amid allegations of list ‘tampering’

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