Bhisho brings in new brooms to sweep clean

Veliswa Mvenya
Veliswa Mvenya

Experienced lawmaker Veliswa Mvenya has been tasked with ensuring that Eastern Cape government departments are held to account, having been appointed as the new standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) chairperson.

The African Transformation Movement MPL is one of 19 changes that have been made at the Bhisho legislature when it comes to portfolio committee bosses.

Mvenya’s appointment to the crucial portfolio comes as the ANC caucus announced that only one politician had retained their position as a portfolio committee chair from the previous term.

ANC MPL Mxolisi Dimaza has been retained as the oversight head of the same committee he led during the fifth administration – the health portfolio committee.

Mvenya, a former DA provincial heavyweight, on Wednesday said she was honoured to be trusted with ensuring government departments were held accountable.

Mvenya’s appointment was confirmed by legislature chief whip Loyiso Magqashela on Wednesday.

Many new faces will now take over the reins in all other legislature committees, with former Cosatu provincial chair Mpumelelo Saziwa, who chaired the legislature’s finance and provincial expenditure portfolio committee in the past administration, to lead the education portfolio committee.

The 20-member list of all the new committee chairs was confirmed by Magqashela.

Magqashela said the institution’s rules committee, now chaired by the new legislature speaker, Helen Sauls-August, will sit on Thursday morning “to formalise appointments”.

Former education portfolio committee chair Mzoleli Mrara has been moved to chair the office of the premier portfolio committee.

Some of the new faces at the legislature – such as ANC PEC members Thabo Matiwane, Zinzi Rabe, Mziwonke Ndabeni, Bukiwe Fanta and Xolani Malamlela – have also been afforded the responsibility of chairing some of the legislature committees.

Matiwane will chair the Cogta portfolio committee, with Magqashela saying they chose him for the task based on his experience in matters of local government and for his work in committees of the ANC.

Former ANC Youth League firebrand Ndabeni will chair the public participation and petitions committee.

Rabe will take over at the special programmes unit committee, while Cosatu provincial secretary Malamlela will take over as the chair of the roads portfolio committee.