6 May 2009

South Africa: Limpopo's Newly Elected Premier Announces His Exco

Polokwane — Limpopo's newly elected Premier Cassel Mathale has announced his new Members of the Executive Council (MECs).

The Limpopo Provincial Legislature convened on Wednesday morning for the swearing in of new Members of the Provincial Legislature (MPL), to elect Cassel Mathale as the new premier of the province.

Provincial Legislature spokesperson Kenny Mathivha told BuaNews that a total of 49 new MPLs were sworn in before they elected the premier, speaker and deputy speaker of the legislature.

Shortly after his election as the new Premier, the African National Congress (ANC) chairman, Cassel Mathale announced his team of MECs, of which seven are new.

Former executive mayor of the Greater Sekhukhune district municipality, Dickson Masemola was named as the new MEC for Education. Prior to his new appointment, Mr Masemola was currently serving as acting MEC for Roads and Transport.

Mr Mathale retained both MEC for Treasury Saad Cachalia and MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture Joyce Mashamba in their positions. Dikeledi Magadzi was moved from Agriculture to her previous position in Safety and Security.

The new MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism is Pitsi Moloto. He replaced Collins Chabane who was sworn as a new member of the National Assembly.

Former Local Government and Housing Head of Department, Pandelani Ramagoma, who is also the provincial 2010 World Cup coordinator is the new MEC for Public Works.

The new MEC for Agriculture is Letsatsi Dipuo Duba, while Meriam Sekgabutla replaced Seaparo Sekoati as the MEC for Health and Social Development.

Former executive mayor of Waterburg district municipality and provincial secretary of the ANC, Pinky Kekana, is the new MEC for Roads and Transport.

The outspoken leader of the South African Communist Party (SACP) Soviet Lekganyane is the MEC for Local Government and Housing. He replaced Maite-Nkoana Mashabane who is now a Member of Parliament.

The new MPLs have elected the chairman of the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa), Rudoph Phala as the Speaker of their Legislature. Mr Phala replaced Dr Tshenuwani Farisani.

ANC's Provincial executive member, Meriam Ramadwa, was elected as the deputy speaker of the legislature.

They also elected ANC veteran and former MEC for Safety and Security Elias Nong as the chief whip of the Legislature.

The former Provincial ANC Secretary-General in Limpopo, Mr Mathale, is not new to the Executive Council of the Limpopo Provincial Government.

When a vacancy was created at the provincial Executive Council last December following the departure of the former MEC for Roads and Transport, Justice Pitso, Mr Mathale was appointed as the new MEC for Roads.

Mr Pitso was appointed as the new South African Ambassador to the People's Republic of Cuba by President Kgalema Motlanthe last December.

Shortly before the 2009 General Elections, Mr Mathale replaced Congress of the People (Cope) defector Sello Moloto as the acting Premier of Limpopo.

He was elected the new chairman of the ANC in July last year at the party's Provincial Conference held at the University of Venda.

At the Limpopo Legislature, the ruling ANC has 43 seats, while the new kid on the block, Cope has four. The Democratic Alliance had maintained its two seats.

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