Mpumalanga ANC President Ndlovu appointed Cogta MEC | Urban press

Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane, Prime Minister of Mpumalanga. Photo: Archive


Mpumalanga Prime Minister Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane has appointed recently elected ANC Provincial Chairperson Mandla Ndlovu to his Cabinet as Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC.

Ndlovu’s appointment proves his promise that he never intended to take over as prime minister after his election to the top job.

There has been a vacancy in Mpumalanga’s cabinet since ANC Treasurer Mandla Msibi resigned as MEC for Agriculture, Rural Development, Lands and Environmental Affairs at the end of last year after being charged with double murder and attempted murder.

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Ndlovu replaces Busi Shiba, who held the position of Msibi while also occupying the position of Cogta MEC.

Although a complete reshuffle of the cabinet and legislature had been expected since the ANC’s provincial conference last month, Mtshweni-Tsipane made no other changes.

Most of the new members of the provincial executive committee (PEC) are not part of the cabinet.

Ndlovu and the new PEC also insisted that they would rather focus on organizational renewal than on purging members who were not part of their faction from their government posts.

Mtshweni-Tsipane said she has worked with Ndlovu for a long time and is comfortable with him in her cabinet even though he is the provincial president.

She says:

I am the boss and he is the MEC deployed for the work of the executive government. We work together elsewhere [in the ANC] and there, he is the boss. I am also required to report certain things to him. We’ve been doing it for a long time. He is no stranger to me. There’s nothing he knows that I don’t know. What enjoins us is that we must improve the lives of the people of Mpumalanga. For me, it’s just business as usual.

She chose Cogta for Ndlovu because of her familiarity with the challenges Mpumalanga faces in local government, as well as her analytical and solution-seeking skills.

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“This decision was partly informed by information I received from the Auditor General on the overall audit results for municipalities. My takeaway from this meeting is that while we continue to see incremental year-on-year improvement in audit performance, the results of the recent local government elections and issues related to the that plague most municipalities imposes on us the responsibility to make changes that will help us improve the performance of municipal audits, remove operational bottlenecks to improve the efficiency of service delivery and, above all, to position municipalities as key nodes for economic development through the implementation of effective frameworks that promote intergovernmental cooperation through the district development model,” she said.

Ndlovu is a qualified teacher. He worked as a councilor in the local municipality of Bushbuckridge and later became secretary of the ANC of the former Bohlabelo region. He was the elected provincial secretary of the ANC when Vice President David Mabuza served his last term as Prime Minister. He acted as provincial president when Mabuza was elected to national office in 2018, until Mpumalanga convened his conference last month.

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