Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schäfer resigns

Outgoing Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schäfer on Thursday handed in her resignation letter to premier Alan Winde after 20 years in the public service of the republic.

Schäfer, who will leave the office on May 15, said in a statement she had accepted a job offer in the legal sector in the UK, where her family is based.

Schäfer, who served as the MEC in the Western Cape for eight years, said she believed she had made valuable contributions throughout her career and was now ready to “move in a new direction”.

Said Schäfer: “I am, however, now ready to bow out of public life. I am in the fortunate position of having been offered a job in the legal sector in the UK, which I have accepted. I’ll be joining some of my family there, which represents a unique opportunity for us to experience together.”

Schäfer will, however, remain committed to the DA and has no intentions to resign as the member of the opposition party.

“I remain of the view that the DA is the only hope to rescue South Africa from the current trajectory and which can realise the immense potential that we have.”

Winde expressed his gratitude to the outgoing MEC, saying she was a strong and tenacious leader “who fights hard each and every day to ensure a well-run, quality, focused education system in the Western Cape.”

The premier said: “Her results speak for themselves. We will miss her sharp attention to detail and steadfast commitment to the values we share, and I thank her for the important role she has played in our cabinet over the last years.”

Winde also confirmed that he would announce new changes to his provincial cabinet on Friday.

“I will announce changes to my provincial cabinet following the process of careful deliberation over the last few weeks. We are determined to use this moment to make the changes we need to move forward,” he said.

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