DURBAN: Former KwaZulu-Natal Premier’s allies face an axe in Ms Dube-Ncube’s imminent cabinet reshuffle.
Ms Nomusa Dube-Ncube has been elected as the new premier of KwaZulu-Natal, following the resignation of Mr Sihle Zikalala less than a week ago. Mr Zikalala resigned after losing the ANC elective conference to Member of Provincial Legislature, Mr Siboniso Duma’s slate, now commonly known as Taliban.
Speculations are rife after Ms Dube-Ncube was successfully sworn-in as Premier on Wednesday morning defeating a Democratic Alliance (DA) fielded candidate in a special sitting. Ms Dube-Ncube obtained 45 to Ms Mmabatho Tembe’s 11 votes in Mooi River.
According to sources, the cabinet reshuffle is imminent and Mr Zikalala’s allies are expected to be axed.
“Look the likes of Jomo and Kwazi, should have resigned like Ravi did yesterday (referring to Tuesday’s leaked staff letter), they must know that the Talibans want to enter,” said the source, who did not want to be named for fear of repercussions.
Shortly after being sworn-in, Ms Dube-Ncube said in her first address as the premier that “democracy is alive” in the province and committed herself and her administration to open and accountable governance.
Ms Dube-Ncube said she had always “sought to do what is best for the people of this province” and said that “we dare not disappoint our people” in this regard.
She said she would “serve diligently” and would play a “more visible role” in promoting government programmes, but would not interfere in the functions of line departments.
Ms Dube-Ncube said she had a history of clean governance in the portfolios she had occupied and that this would continue in her role as premier.
“We will also ensure transparency, accountability and good governance in all spheres of government,” she said.
She said, “the whole country” was celebrating the fact that the ANC had finally appointed a woman as premier in KwaZulu-Natal.
While KZN ANC’s new sheriff in town, Mr Duma was candid with any prospects of an imminent cabinet reshuffle, there is a clear indication as to what Ms Dube-Ncube is expected to do next.
It is believed that Mr Duma will take over the vacant economic development, tourism and environmental affairs after Mr Ravi Pillay resigned.
Mr Duma hinted while placing an emphasis on the need for the province’s development bank, the Ithala Development Finance Corporation, which falls under economic development, to secure a commercial licence in line with the ANC’s policy of creating a state bank.
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Former Newcastle Local Municipality mayor, Dr Ntuthuko ‘Junda’ Mahlaba is earmarked for the health portfolio after being sworn-in on Wednesday as an MPL.
While deputy chairperson Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu is likely to be moved to the education portfolio, taking over to Mr Kwazi Mshengu who lost out on her during the ANC elective conference.
Contenders for the finance portfolio, vacated by Ms Dube-Ncube, are transport MEC Ms Peggy Nkonyeni and Mr Sipho Nkosi, a member of the provincial standing committee on public accounts.
Those who are set to be removed in the imminent cabinet reshuffle are Mr Mshengu, KZN Legislature Speaker, Ms Nontembeko Boyce, Cyril Ramaphosa’s staunch supporter, Mr Jomo Sibiya and others who stood as part of Mr Zikalala’s slate.
They will make way for MPLs Ms Amanda Bani, Ms Mbali Frazer, and others who supported the current leadership.
Lastly, the source said, “it is very important that cadres understand that the new leadership must drive its own policy position to steer the province from the likes of Jomo, Kwazi and Khuzeni going forward.
Sports and culture MEC Ms Hlengiwe Mavimbela is also understood to be on her way out, with Ms Bani tipped as a likely replacement for her.
It is also understood that the current MEC of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Mr Sipho Hlomuka, the new deputy secretary, is expected to move to transport and public safety, while agriculture MEC Ms Bongi Moloi is expected to replace him at the department.
Ask for comments, Mr Duma did not respond to questions.