/ 8 May 2009

Mokonyane reorganises ‘Team Gauteng’

The Gauteng provincial administration has been reorganised and will include a planning department reporting to the office of premier Nomvula Mokonyane.

”In order to ensure that government is able to deliver on its mandate, we will establish a planning commission … [to] ensure long term planning, effective coordination and most importantly, to strengthen monitoring and evaluation in government, including resource allocation,” Mokonyane said on Friday.

The commission would be headed by former provincial transport minister Ignatius Jacobs.

Jacobs said it would focus on putting together a ”comprehensive strategy for inclusive development”.

”It will look at weaknesses in the economy and how to turn it around … and look at how to ensure broad-based development which is inclusive,” he said.

Introducing her executive team, Mokonyane said current provincial finance minister Mandla Nkomfe would stay on in his position.

Firoz Cachalia would move from community safety and become the new provincial economic development minister.

”My main priority will be jobs,” Cachalia said afterward. He said the department would work with national government to help blunt the effects of the global financial crisis.

Cachalia was replaced by former provincial minister for agriculture, Khabisi Mosunkutu, and education would be headed by former provincial sport minister Barbara Creecy, who led sport, arts and culture in the last term.

A new department to steer infrastructure development was also included, while the health department had been combined with that of social development, Mokonyane said.

The health and social development department would be headed by Dorothy Qedani Mahlangu and the infrastructure development department would be headed by Nonhlanhla Faith Mazibuko.

The local government department was merged with the housing department and would be headed by former provincial social development minister Kgaogelo Lekgoro.

The new provincial sport, recreation, arts and culture minister was Nelisiwe Mthimkulu-Mbatha, while the roads and transport department would be headed by Brian Simon Nkosi.

A notable exception from Mokonyane’s team was former provincial health minister Brian Hlongwa, who will return to the legislature as the ANC’s chief whip.

After a late start, Mokonyane arrived sporting a stylish red suit, proudly announcing that women would feature strongly in her executive team.

”I am pleased to announce that there are more women in the Gauteng cabinet than before,” she said.

”Team Gauteng” was sworn in, posing for a picture afterwards with Mokonyane at its centre. – Sapa