Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza has broken his silence on the removal of two MECs and he also hinted that this was in response to dissatisfaction that the people of the province had raised.
“As you deploy our cadres, you must consider what the people have said. It’s always appropriate to respond to the dissatisfactions as raised by the people. I’m sure the ANC is trying to come close to what the people have raised as dissatisfaction and areas that people need to be improved,” he said.
Earlier in the week, the ruling African National Congress named two members of the executive council (MECs), Nomsa Mtshweni and Dumisile Nhlengethwa as executive mayor and speaker for the Thembisile Hani and Msukaligwa municipalities respectively.
Both Mtshweni and Nhlengethwa’s chairs were vacant when the Mpumalanga executive council held its meeting on Wednesday.
The only reminder that was left was their desk name boards, bottled water, a glass and an apple and orange snack that had been prepared for them at the meeting.
Mabuza could not be drawn to explain the reasons for the removal of the promised to give an explanation on the surprise removal of two MECs.
“I’m still going to announce the deployment formally that has affected cabinet on what we are going to do going forward. Going forward, there was an election. People have spoken, some areas of government are showing to be weak, some are showing to be strong,” said the Mpumalanga premier said during an exclusive interview at his office on Wednesday.
Mtshweni, the outgoing MEC for social development, will be replacing former Mpumalanga premier, Ndaweni Mahlangu as the executive mayor for Thembisile Hani.
On the other hand, Nhlengethwa, who was MEC for the public works, roads and transport, replaces Bheki Buthelezi as the speaker of Msukaligwa local municipality.
The ANC lost two seats each in both municipalities during the recent local government elections.
ANC provincial secretary said the removal of both MECs was not a demotion.
“It’s not a demotion. We must stop to undermine local government. We said, as an organisation that whatever decision we are going to take, our support and our people would be central, therefore on this one we thought it should be better if we deploy senior comrades to give services to our people. We are not the only one, we know there’s an MEC for Cogta in the Free State (province) that has been deployed as an executive mayor of one municipality,” said Ndlovu.
Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU) provincial secretary, Fidel Mlombo and the executive mayor of Chief Albert Luthuli municipality were announced as the replacement of the two MECs in the provincial legislature.
Mabuza, however, has yet to announce who will be appointed as the MECs.
“Very soon I know that I owe the people of Mpumalanga an explanation of how we have deployed people. Who moves to where in an effort to strengthen ourselves. I will come back quickly,” he said.