Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Caucus Leader
Merit does not appear to have been the prime feature of Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane’s reshuffle of her Executive Council announced today.
While we are glad that Ntombi Mekwe has been shifted from Health, we doubt that she will be able to fix the mess left at Local Government and Housing by her predecessor Humphrey Mmemezi. She did not prove to have turn-around skills at the Health Department, and previously was not a successful mayor of Ekurhuleni.
Hope Papo is scrupulous and honest, but the Health Department will be a huge challenge for him. This department needs a very firm hand, but has had three MECs in two years.
It is puzzling that Qedani Mahlangu was replaced at Economic Development by a junior like Nkosiphendule Kholisile, who was only elected to the Legislature in 2009.
The elevation of Papo and Kholisile may reflect the increasing influence of the SA Communist Party as they are both SACP members.
Bheki Nkosi was not the worst MEC, but has been booted out the Executive to become chairman of the Gambling Board.
It is disappointing that Mokonyane did not make a more sweeping reshuffle to get rid of non-performers like Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko.
It is plain that merit was not the deciding factor in this reshuffle, which largely reflects the Gauteng ANC’s internal balance of factions.