It is a week since former MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) in the Free State, Sefora Ntombela, has been inaugurated as the new premier of the Free State, replacing Ace Magashule, and yet there is still no word on when she will be making her cabinet reshuffle.
Ntombela is expected to start off with her reshuffling by appointing a successor for the MEC of Cogta position, which has been vacant since she accepted the premier position.
Ntombela, who is also the deputy chairperson of the ANC Women’s League and a firm advocate of women in leadership, is expected to increase the quota of female MECs.
At her inaugural ceremony last week at the Toyota Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, Ntombela stated those who have not been performing should not expect to serve in her cabinet as she expects those who will be working with her to hit the ground running, particularly with regards to service delivery matters.
Ntombela also said that she would be making her own decisions and would not be taking any orders from Magashule.
Ntombela’s spokesperson, Tiisetso Makhele, stated that he was unsure when Ntombela would make her announcement about a cabinet reshuffle. “The decision will be communicated once made,” Makhele said in a written response to Courant.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance in the Free State’s Dr Roy Jankielsohn, offered Ntombela a word of advice, saying she should look beyond the current legislature members and the dominant ANC faction for capable leaders.
Jankielsohn said that the ANC had a few capable members who have served the province as MECs previously but were now being overlooked because of the factions within the party. Jankielsohn mentioned former Mangaung mayor, Thabo Manyoni, as well as former Free State ANC provincial treasurer, Mxolisi Dukwana, as suitable candidates for Ntombela’s cabinet. However, he said because they are in the wrong faction, it is likely that they will not be considered for any role.
Jankielsohn also spoke on those who are coming from Magashule’s cabinet. “I can only think of one or two members who I could say are experienced and will lead well but as for the rest, I will not embarrass them by naming them, but I do not think they are fit for the positions they are currently in,” Jankielsohn added.
He suggested that Ntombela should look at members of parliament and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and ask them to perhaps swap and come serve at a provincial level. “The people that are there are capable and will lead the province as it needs to be led ,” Jankielsohn said.
The EFF in the province’s Kgotso Morapela could not be reached for comment for his insights on the matter.