South Africa’s nine provincial legislatures on Wednesday held their first sittings in which Premiers were elected and sworn into office.
The swearing-in of members of the legislature follows the recently concluded sixth National and Provincial Elections on 8 May.
At the Lebowakgomo Legislative Chamber in Limpopo, Stanley Mathabatha was elected as Premier of the province while Mavhungu Luruli-Ramakhanya was elected as Speaker of the legislature.
Mathabatha had previously served as Premier.
Essop Mokgonyana was elected as Chief Whip of the legislature in which the ruling party the African National Congress (ANC) retained 38 of the 49 seats in the provincial legislature.
Limpopo Judge President Ephraim Makgoba oversaw proceedings in the legislature that got underway at 10am.
In the North West, Judge President of the Mmabatho High Court Monica Leeuw presided over the swearing-in of members of the provincial legislature. Professor Job Makgoro retained his seat as Premier of the platinum-producing province.
The legislature elected Susan Dantjie as Speaker and Viola Motsumi as the Deputy Speaker.
In Gauteng, Judge President Dunstan Mlambo presided over the swearing-in of members of the legislature.
Dressed in a dark suit and red tie, David Makhura - who was nominated together with Democratic Alliance (DA) candidate Solly Msimanga - took the honours of becoming Premier for a second consecutive time.
In his acceptance speech, Makhura promised to serve residents with integrity, humility and “unflinching dedication”.
“The people of Gauteng want a growing and inclusive economy that creates more jobs. They want access to housing and land. They want us to fight crime and corruption with determination and vigour,” said the Premier.
He was nominated to the top post by ANC Deputy Chairperson in the province, Panyaza Lesufi.
In the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, sitting in Pietermaritzburg, Sihle Zikalala was elected Premier after being nominated unopposed at the ceremony overseen by provincial Judge President Achmat Jappie.
The Western Cape legislature appointed Alan Winde as Premier while Masizole Mnqasela was elected as Speaker.
Speaking after his swearing-in, Winde said among the first things that will receive his attention as Premier is the fixing of the train system in the province. “We want to make a difference… we have a lot of work to do,” he said.
The Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni retained her seat, while Busisiwe Shiba was appointed as the Speaker in the ceremony that saw the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) nominating Collen Sedibe for the top post.
The Northern Cape elected Dr Zamani Saul as its Premier. In his acceptance speech, Saul said residents of the province “yearn for a modern, growing and successful province” a plea which he would talk to at his inaugural address scheduled for next week.
The Eastern Cape, which has a total 63 seats in which the ANC secured 44 seats, elected Oscar Mabuyane as Premier. Mabuyane was elected unopposed in the Bhisho legislature.
Meanwhile, Helen Sauls-August was elected as Speaker of the house.
Sisi Ntombela was elected as Premier of the Free State with Zanele Sifuba elected as Speaker.
The swearing in of members of the provincial legislatures was done at the same time as the swearing-in of Members of Parliament (MP) in the National Assembly. Tomorrow will see the National Council of Provinces sitting for the first time.
The ceremonies occurred as the country prepares to inaugurate South Africa’s President-elect at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on Saturday. - SAnews.gov.za