Mpumalanga premier-elect, Refilwe Mtsweni, has promised to spend sleepless nights delivering services lure investment and create jobs for the youth of the province.
Mtsweni as a first female premier in Mpumalanga having taken over one year from deputy President David Mabuza’s term last year Mtsweni promised to punish impunity within government responding to a call from the public during elections that they will not support a corrupt government.
“Yes it is true that our people have told us that they will not tolerate a corrupt government. We are then saying their pleas haven’t fell on deaf ears. Corruption as government is our number one enemy, I will make sure that all reported corruption with evidence we will be investigated and action will be taken. If we don’t act we would be robbing our people what belongs to them. We can’t have this public purse becoming smaller and smaller because there are some people who rob the public what belongs to them,” said Mtsweni.
Thirty members of the Mpumalanga legislature were sworn in by judge president of the Mpumalanga division of the high court, Judge Francis Legodi. The Economic Freedom Fighters have added two seats from the previous legislature to four, deposing the Democratic Alliance (DA) as the official opposition.
The DA kept their three seats from the previous legislature and the Bushbuckridge resident association (BRA) lost their only seat, which they won in 2014, while the Freedom Front Plus gained itself a sole seat.
Opposition parties supported Mtsweni’s stance against corruption and they also promised to hold her government accountable.
“We hear the premier-elect (Mtsweni) is promising to deal with corruption, ours is to hold them to account for the public money and we will make sure that we report such and keep a clean government through the legislature. We won’t allow the ANC-led administration to steal public money,” said EFF chairperson in Mpumamanga, Collen Sedibe.
DA leader in Mpumalanga, Jane Sithole told The New Era that their job will be making sure that all corrupt head of departments and municipality leaders are arrested.
“Let what the premier is promising not be a lip service. We are going to have the cases we have opened against some leaders of the ANC in government coming forward for her attention and the police. We want them arrested because we can’t let the public money go to pockets of individuals who are in government,” said Sithole.
The ANC having lost two seats in the legislature from the 24 they held in the previous legislature, said they were happy to have brought about “generational mix”.
“First our people have given us a mandate to govern and that did not come with a blank cheque. Our people want services and jobs and that is our priority as we have told our deployees to this legislature that they must not think about themselves but think for the people,” said acting chairperson of the ANC in Mpumalanga Mandla Ndlovu.
Amongst the deployed new members of the ANC are chairperson of the ANC youth league in Ehlanzeni region, Bheki Lubisi who is also rumored to be going to be appointed an MEC, former deputy secretary of the provincial ANC youth league, Vusi Mkhatshwa and Mohita Latchminarain.
Former MEC for social development, Busi Shiba was elected speaker of the house, her deputy is Vusi Mkhatshwa and Fidel Mlombo chip whip of the majority party (ANC).
Mtsweni is expected to announce her cabinet once the president have officially appointed her premier.