DA and EFF savage Oscar’s cabinet appointments

Oscar Mabuyane
Oscar Mabuyane
Image: File

The two main opposition parties in the province have slammed the newly appointed Eastern Cape executive, saying it was “inexperienced” and full of “questionable characters” who are allegedly “involved in scandals”.

Speaking with the Dispatch, DA provincial leader Nqaba Bhanga said that these appointments “were unfortunate”.

“We have an inexperienced cabinet that has been put up by the premier and it is unfortunate that we have this team that must deal with the challenges facing the Eastern Cape,” Bhanga said.

“We heard from the auditor-general that most municipalities in the province cannot sustain themselves financially. We have about R25bn in irregular expenditure.”

He said with these appointments, the future of local municipalities looked bleak, as several municipalities across the province were in dire need of urgent intervention.

There were also the growing unemployment levels in the province that were cause for serious concern.

“More than 1.2 million people in the Eastern Cape are unemployed. With this cabinet, I do not see any commitment or people who have plans on how to address unemployment in this province,” Bhanga said.

Bhanga’s sentiments were shared by his counterpart in the EFF, provincial leader Yazini Tetyana.

Bhanga said, the ANC was not taking the people of the Eastern Cape seriously.

“As I am speaking with you now I am devastated. Look at the appointment at the department of health [Sindiswa Gomba]. I also have a problem with [Mlungisi] Mvoko going to the provincial treasury.

“He was given the education department before and he did not demonstrate any capacity to hold provincial office.

“Gomba was implicated in the Nelson Mandela funeral scandal and now she is given the critical department of health, that is unfortunate.”

Tetyana said the appointments were not made in the best interest of the people of the province, but in compliance with the ANC NEC [national executive committee] directive.

“There is no confidence that will be inspired by these people. The public works MEC [Babalo Madikizela] is also implicated in many things.

“These appointments are just a matter of balancing the 60-40% that the ANC has directed them to comply with,” Tetyana said.

The business sector welcomed the new cabinet, but warned the Oscar Mabuyane-led executive that poverty levels, as indicated by Stats SA, showed a bleak picture that needed urgent attention.

Black Business Forum (BBF) chief executive Thando Mpulu said the forum was hopeful that “those who are charged with political responsibility to implement the policies will discharge that responsibility with [the] speed it deserves”.

“The recent statistics on poverty paints a bleak picture of the Eastern Cape.

“We hope and trust that these women and men understand the imminent catastrophe that we are confronted with,” said Mpulu.

Border-Kei Chamber of Business chairman Les Holbrook welcomed Mvoko’s appointment as finance MEC.

“We do not expect anyone to have a magic hand and produce miracles,” Holbrook said.

“We believe that solid and consistent work is the thing that is going to solve the problems. We think that the new [finance] MEC should be fine. We welcome the appointment. We believe we have someone we can work with.”

The ANC chief whip in the provincial legislature, Loyiso Magqashela, also welcomed the appointments.

“As the newly appointed cabinet takes office, we are confident that it will ensure efficient service delivery to the Eastern Cape citizenry within the context of a state that provides our people with crucial basic services, whilst placing the people and their active participation at the centre of this process,” Magqashela said.

“We are particularly pleased to note the appointment of a diverse cabinet which incorporates experience, a gender balance, and a youthful flair.

“This demonstrates the ANC’s commitment to a cabinet that is fit for the purpose and reflective of the province’s demographic landscape.

“The ANC caucus wishes to extend a sincere word of gratitude to the cabinet of the fifth administration, which worked tirelessly to cushion our people against the vicious clutches of poverty, unemployment and inequality. The task at hand is to build on the gains in ensuring a prosperous province.”