Former North West premier Thandi Modise was elected chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Thursday.
Modise, who was elected unopposed, paid tribute to her predecessor, Mninwa Mahlangu. “Just as I and the outgoing chairperson might be buying the same shoes from the same brand of the ANC, it is quite clear that I do not have to fit my feet into these shoes, but must continue to make sure his legacy, his aspiration to take this house somewhere, will remain committed to,” Modise said.
The new council chairperson told MPs that because 80% of delegates in the House were new to Parliament, they should attend training programmes. “The NCOP has a unique and important role to play. It represents provinces to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government,” Modise said.
“As permanent delegates to the NCOP, I must implore you to look beyond your party politics and unite in the pursuit of better responses to the vexing challenges that are facing our people,” she said.
Raseriti Tau was elected as her deputy, also unopposed. Earlier, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng swore in the 54 permanent delegates to the NCOP. The NCOP comprises 90 delegates altogether. Fifty-four of these are permanent delegates, who are appointed by provincial legislatures, and 36 are special delegates.
The 36 special delegates are members of provincial legislatures. The 54 permanent delegates – six from each province – are not members of provincial legislatures. They are designated by their parties to serve in the NCOP as permanent delegates and the provincial legislatures appoint them to do so. The ANC has 33 permanent delegates and 27 special delegates; the Democratic Alliance 13 permanent and seven special delegates; the Economic Freedom Fighters six permanent and one special delegate; the Inkatha Freedom Party one permanent delegate and no special delegates; the United Democratic Movement one permanent delegate and no special delegate; and the National Freedom Party has no permanent delegates and one special delegate. – Sapa