Since the election of Premier Ntombela last week, a vacancy occurred within the provincial cabinet, that of her previous position as the MEC for Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements (COGTAHS).

Premier Sisi Ntombela should use the opportunity of her imminent cabinet reshuffle to begin sweeping the Free State Executive Committee clean.

Considering the collapse of local and cooperative governance in the Free State, most notably the poor service delivery track record, the massive R6,2 billion Eskom debt, the R2 billion water board debt, and the massive housing and title deeds backlogs, a competent, dedicated and experienced individual should be appointed to this crucial portfolio.

Premier Ntombela has the constitutional power invested in her office to use the opportunity to appoint a person outside of the ANC’s Magashule faction. She should seriously consider making use of it in the interests of the people of the Free State.

The DA is of the strong view that not a single ANC MPL currently serving in the back benches of the ANC in the Free State Provincial Legislature possesses the skills or experience necessary to effectively deal with the problems facing COGTAHS.

While the DA believes that only the election of a DA government in 2019 can bring total change to stop the rot of ANC poor governance, at the very least a new MEC that possesses the necessary political determination, skills and experience could at the very least restore some sort of stability in the delivery of basic services to the people of the Free State.

The sooner Premier Ntombela realises that she does not require Magashule’s approval for cabinet appointments, the better for the people of the Free State.