Ramokgopa ‘opted to step aside’ as MEC

MEC set to become deputy minister

Former Gauteng MEC for economic development, agriculture and environment Sputla Ramokgopa says he volunteered to leave his post to ensure that the Gauteng ANC leadership and premier David Makhura did not appear to be undermining women.

Ramakgopa told Sunday World yesterday that the longer it took the leadership to appoint a woman MEC, the poorer it reflected on the province.

Makhura on Friday announced Morakane Mosupyoe as Ramokgopa’s replacement following weeks of pressure from the ANC national executive committee (NEC) and the ANC Women’s League.

This comes as rumours swell that he might be on his way to replacing the late Bavelile Hlongwa as mineral resources and energy deputy minister.

The ANC Women’s League has on several occasions warned against female leaders being replaced by males.

The SACP had put up a fierce fight to ensure Makhura did not axe its Gauteng secretary Jacob Mamabolo, who is serving as public transport and roads infrastructure MEC.

In July, the ANC NEC ordered Makhura to drop one male MEC from his cabinet in compliance with a resolution of the party that in provinces where a premier is male, women should make up 60% of the cabinet.

“The longer we took to implement it [NEC decision], I think the bad the reflection on the provincial executive committee.

“One, we think we are special, so it is like Gauteng exceptionalism, which I don’t think augers well,” he said, adding that failure to implement the NEC decision would have reinforced a false narrative that the ANC in Gauteng did not believe women were capable of serving in the executive.

By George Matlala

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