Eastern Cape premier names new advisers
Two successful businesswomen, a former university vice-chancellor, a bishop and the former South African Youth Council chair.
These are the people who will advise Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane.
The newly appointed members of the premier’s advisory team are businesswoman Gloria Serobe, Dr Vuyokazi Mahlati, former NMU vicechancellor Professor Derrick Swartz, veteran clergyman Bishop Andile Mbete and former youth council chair Thulani Tshefuta.
Mabuyane, who unveiled his advisory team on Friday as he delivered the state of the province address, said they would counsel and guide him.
“I was looking more for people who are developmental but also people who have leadership in their character and also people who have led before,” Mabuyane said.
“I know them very well and I have worked with them; I was trying to balance the team across the spectrum.”
Mabuyane said he was looking at forming a multidisciplinary team.
“This is a team that will be different, that is why it comprises a man who is an academic but also knows development.
“Tshefuta is very strong on issues of young people,” Mabuyane said.
He said the team was familiar with issues of focus in the Eastern Cape and could make things happen.
“They bring a wealth of experience from different backgrounds,” he said.
Mahlati has worked on the president’s advisory panel on land reform among other roles.
Mabuyane said the decision to include a retired bishop was based on the province being a highly religious one.
He said Mbete’s role would involve managing issues of social cohesion and he would bring a sense of conscience in municipalities.
Mbete said: “From time to time we will meet the premier when he seeks advice on serious issues or we will take the initiative and invite him on serious matters he may not be aware of.”
He said he had been in advisory teams before but not in the context of politics.
“I have done it in the church, and with kings and chiefs, but I have never advised a political figure.
“It will fall upon me to ensure the spirits and morality of the premier and his colleagues are well taken care of.”
Swartz said he welcomed the appointment but was eager to meet with Mabuyane to be briefed on the team’s roles.
“I welcome the initiative to contribute towards advising government on the future development of the economy because that is one of our key concerns – to rebuild an economy that hasn’t generated enough growth to create jobs and eradicate inequality.”
Swartz is working on the oceans economy at NMU and chairs the national advisory council on innovation.