Newly elected Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has announced his cabinet, which he described as a mix of stability and new ideas.
Winde was sworn in on Wednesday in the Western Cape legislature after his party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) won 55.45% of the provincial vote.
It now controls 26 seats in the 42-seat legislature.
Several MECs in former Premier Helen Zille’s cabinet have retained their positions.
When first elected in 2009, Zille was criticised for appointing an all-male, and mostly white cabinet. Winde has however, appointed four women in his 10-member cabinet, which is largely demographically representative of the province.
Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo, education MEC Debbie Schäfer, local government MEC Anton Bredell and sports and culture MEC Anroux Marais all keep their portfolios.
There have been a few changes.
Former human settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela now moves to transport and public works. Former social development MEC Albert Fritz is now in charge of community safety and Ivan Meyer moves from finance to agriculture.
Some new faces feature too.
Former DA National Assembly MP David Maynier is now finance and economic development MEC. Former Speaker of the Western Cape provincial parliament Sharna Fernandez is social development MEC and Tertius Simmers, formerly the Eden district municipal councillor in the Southern Cape has been appointed the new human settlements MEC.
“In putting this cabinet together, I have sought to achieve stability through experience, and new capability,” said Winde at a cabinet announcement in Cape Town on Thursday.
Winde has also announced lifestyle audits for MECs, which they will undergo at the start and end of their terms.
“We have done this because we believe that as public representatives, we must uphold the highest standards of integrity in the execution of our offices. (This is) part of my pledge to build on our good governance track record by setting a new standard for anti-corruption,” he said.
The previous cabinet was relatively scandal-free. The one standout incident was the Public Protector clearing Madikizela when the ANC complained that a R3 000 birthday cake was not declared according to the executive ethics code.
Winde is also taking a cue from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s promise to reconfigure the size and scope of his own cabinet.
In the coming months, the size and functions of provincial departments will be reviewed, which may involve doing away with some MECs and departmental officials.
“South Africa is in a precarious financial position, where government has come to spend more on staff than on service delivery. This situation is untenable,” Winde said.