ANC Women’s League raised its unhappiness about the lack of the number of women in the government and now a male MEC must go
At least one male MEC in Gauteng could lose his position soon.
One of these MECs – public transport and road infrastructure MEC Jacob Mamabolo; economic development, agriculture and environment MEC Kgosientso Ramokgopa; or health MEC Bandile Masuku – is likely to make way for a female MEC.
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte confirmed during a press conference this week that in a discussion about provincial leadership the national executive committee (NEC) had decided the Gauteng government needed to have a 60-40 gender representation.
At the moment the province is led by male premier David Makhura and 10 MECs, five men and women.
After the elections the NEC took a decision that all provincial governments should have more women MECs than men, especially in provinces where a premier was male.
Makhura had been allowed to deviate from the formula after asking for permission from the top leadership.
But this was reversed after the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) raised its unhappiness at the NEC meeting.
Makhura was ordered to drop one male MEC and replace him with a female MEC.
Gauteng government sources said it was likely Mamabolo would swap with Gauteng legislature deputy speaker Vuyo Mhlakaza.
He would be deputy speaker and Mhlakaza would be the new MEC in his place. However, there has been speculation that Masuku could make way for a female member of the provincial executive committee (PEC).
Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has stolen the hearts of South Africans and has been labelled one the most hard-working ANC deployees in Gauteng, so it is unlikely that he will be at risk of losing his position.
Makhura was forced by a public outcry to retain him as education MEC after seeking to move him to finance.
Human settlements and cooperative governance MEC Lebogang Maile has major support in the PEC and is unlikely to be touched.
However, removing Mamabolo, who is the SA Communist Party’s provincial secretary, could cause unhappiness within the alliance.
The ANCWL in Gauteng says it does not have a candidate in mind. “It can be whoever as long as it is a woman,” said spokesperson Jacqueline Mofokeng.
In May it was reported that the ANCWL expressed its unhappiness that Makhura’s cabinet did not have a 50-50 gender split.
Makhura failed to abide by the NEC’s requirements in the appointment of executives, as had been agreed at previous NEC meetings.
The ANCWL president at the time, Bathabile Dlamini, expressed concern that women were not granted positions in high structures even though they were capable and available.
The ANC holds on to control of the province by a majority of just one seat against all opposition combined because they won just over 50% of the vote.