The ANC intends to line up prospects for Gauteng MEC of economic development, agriculture and environment, Kgosientso “Sputla” Ramokgopa, who was axed on Friday, to ensure that he is not left in the lurch.
City Press understands that the first option will be for Ramokgopa to serve at a national level, which could see him being deployed to one of South Africa’s ailing state-owned enterprises.
Ramokgopa holds a BSc in civil engineering from the University of Durban-Westville, and his expertise might be used at Eskom or Transnet.
The second option is for him to continue working with the Gauteng provincial government, but this time as Premier David Makhura’s adviser.
In this case, Ramokgopa would be working as part of the province’s war room alongside current adviser Eric Xayiya.
Makhura appointed Morakane Mosupyoe as the new MEC after being pressurised by Luthuli House to replace one male MEC with a woman.
While there have been rumours of the possibility of Ramokgopa taking up the position of deputy minister of mineral resources and energy, sources within the ANC and the provincial government have dismissed these claims.
The position was previously held by the late Bavelile Hlongwa, who died in a freak accident last month.
“They will not replace a female minister with a male. That’s not possible,” one source said.
ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) secretary-general Meokgo Matuba told City Press that this was a victory for them.
“We welcome the decision by the provincial executive of Gauteng and we are pleased that they would be able to comply with the national executive committee’s decision … We are, of course, congratulating the new MEC, comrade Morakane,” she said.
Matuba said there were lessons that the ANC should learn from this incident.
“For us, it is about the ANC structures that must begin to implement the party’s constitution – and that constitution compels us, as ANC members, to comply with [maintaining] gender parity at all times.
“They must know that other structures of the ANC will not keep quiet if things aren’t done in accordance with the decisions or constitution of the ANC.”
Makhura took almost two months to make the decision.
A source in the provincial government explained that this was because his cabinet wanted to finish planning their tenures.
In the premier’s state of the province address, he tasked all the MECs to formulate strategies regarding their respective departments and then submit their proposals for the Growing Gauteng Together initiative.
An announcement regarding the initiative will be made this week and newly appointed MEC Mosupyoe will have to get straight to business.
“He [Makhura] did not want to disrupt this process because appointing someone in the middle of the planning was not going to work,” the source said.
The source added that the new MEC was also chosen because the party felt Ramokgopa had to be replaced with a candidate from Tshwane.
Mosupyoe has served the city in various positions over the years, including as a councillor for the City of Tshwane from 2006 to 2016.
She also served as a member of the mayoral committee for health and social development, and formed part of the social and economic cluster over the same period.
Mosupyoe was the first woman speaker of the City of Tshwane, a position she held from 2011 to 2016.
She is currently a member of the provincial executive committee and also serves on the provincial working committee of the ANC in Gauteng.