Gauteng MECs vow to improve services

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Johannesburg - Newly appointed Gauteng MECs, who took the oath of office on Wednesday, have promised better service delivery to the people of the province.

Three MECs Lebogang Maile, former Ekurhuleni Mayor Ntombi Mekgwe and Humphrey Mmemezi were sworn in at Premier Nomvula Mokonyane's office in a ceremony presided over by Gauteng High Court Judge President Bernard Ngoepe.

Ishmael Vadi, who was appointed MEC for Roads and Infrastructure, however, could not be sworn in as he was on a work-related visit abroad.

The MECs appointments were part of a provincial cabinet reshuffle announced by Mokonyane on Tuesday.

Maile, is now responsible for the sports and culture portfolio and the youngest of the pack, would study the work done by his predecessor before making any announcement on his plans for the department.

"I appreciate that I come to a department where a lot of work was being done, I will continue from where my predecessor has left with the hope of making things better," he said.

Both Mekgwe and Mmemezi promised to better service delivery while they will make efforts to improve the lives of people in South Africa's economic hub.

Mekgwe has extensive experience in local government, having served as mayor of Nigel and later Ekurhuleni. It is hoped she will use this experience to fix the province's health system. She inherits a department with serious challenges including a reported R400 million in wasteful expenditure.

As MEC for Local Government and Housing, Mmemezi will have to deal with enormous housing backlog in the province and mushrooming informal settlements.

It emerged in August that the department was currently sitting on 609 722 applications, but would deliver only 11 000 in the 2010/11 financial year. This was fewer than half of the 25 000 houses the department said were delivered in the past financial year.