Preparations for election of new Gauteng Premier underway

Wednesday, May 6, 2009
By: 
Chris Bathembu

Johannesburg - Scores of people have gathered outside the Gauteng Legislature ahead of the election of the new premier Nomvula Mokonyane.

Ms Mokonyane, who takes over from outgoing Premier Paul Mashatile, is expected to be elected during a sitting of the legislature later this morning.

Ms Mokonyane, who is the first woman to be appointed as a Gauteng premier, was announced as the province's fifth premier by African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe.

Currently the Housing MEC, Ms Mokonyane is expected to announce a new team of MECs when she makes her address as Premier. The MPLs were being sworn in, in groups of five.

Paul Mashatile, who was initially tipped to become Deputy Finance Minister, is also expected to take up a seat as an MPL.

It appears that the ANC has retained most of the familiar faces.

Although the party has a majority of seats in the legislature, the Democratic Alliance has indicated that it will put a candidate against Ms Mokonyane.

Ms Mokonyane, who was the founder member of the Congress of South African Students (Cosas), has been a member of the Gauteng Legislature since 1994, holding the position of Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Housing and Local Government.

In 1996 Ms Mokonyane was appointed MEC for Agriculture, Conservation and Environment, in 1999 she was appointed MEC for Safety and Liaison and in 2004 she was appointed as the MEC for Housing.

The mother of three is currently a member of the African National Congress Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee, ANC Women's League National Executive Committee, party's National Working Committee as well as Central Committee of the South African Communist Party (SACP).