The new Western Cape cabinet - Helen Zille

Premier says Debbie Schafer and Nomafrench Mbombo are the new additions to her team


Note to editors: The following remarks were made by Premier Helen Zille today, at the announcement of the Western Cape Government's Cabinet.

Today, I am pleased to announce the new Western Cape Cabinet that will be sworn in by Western Cape High Court Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso on Monday 26, May 2014.

This Cabinet is appointed in terms of my delegated responsibilities in Section 42 (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

I have made my selection with the following in mind:

Over the past five years the DA administration has developed a Provincial Strategic Plan that focused on economic growth and jobs, combatting poverty and providing opportunities for all.  We have structured government to deliver on these plans and aligned the budget to implement them. 

The voters have given us a second term to continue our work.  I believe that we must proceed to implement our plan, while updating it to take new factors into account.

It is therefore essential to retain continuity, experience and institutional knowledge in the provincial Cabinet.

At the same time it is important to introduce fresh thinking and new ideas, so that we can continue to improve the way we govern.

The new cabinet therefore comprises eight Ministers who have served in this government before, and two new Ministers. Of the eight returning Ministers, two are in new portfolios.  Their previous portfolios have been allocated to the two new Ministers. They are:

Assoc Professor Nomafrench Mbombo who has been allocated the portfolio of Cultural Affairs and Sport

Professor Mbombo was an academic in the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences at the University of the Western Cape. She has focused specifically on maternal and child health.  Her expertise and interest in children and youth make her ideally suited to Cultural Affairs and Sport portfolio.  In this capacity she will be tasked with pioneering the flagship Mass Opportunity Development Centres for youth across the province, an innovation of the Western Cape government.  She will also take responsibility for the many other responsibilities in her portfolio, from libraries to museums, funding cultural projects and promoting the development of sport, with a specific focus on school sport.

Ms Debbie Schafer, who has been allocated the portfolio of Education

Ms Schafer served as a DA Member of Parliament since 2009, and a Councillor in the City of Cape Town before that. In Parliament she served as Deputy Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, and was a member of the Justice and Constitutional Development Portfolio Committee.  She was also elected by Parliament to serve on the Magistrates' Commission.  Before beginning her political career, Ms Schafer practiced as an attorney of the Cape High Court for 12 years.  

She will be responsible for continuing our educational turn-around strategy, and improving education outcomes until the province achieves internationally benchmarked standards.

The Ministers retained in the Cabinet are:

1Minister Theuns Botha - Health

The largest budget in government, which faces enormous pressures in escalating demand for services, due to demographic shifts, piloting new national programmes, reducing the burden of disease, and driving public-private partnerships in health care.

2. Minister Anton Bredell - Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning. 

Two critical portfolios:  The first to build the capacity of local government to deliver basic services, implement their integrated development plans, and improve their audit outcomes; and the second to balance environmental protection with promoting development that drives economic growth.

3. Albert Fritz - Social Development

This is an interface and service portfolio to our most vulnerable citizens.  It runs major projects autonomously (such as places of safety for children and rehabilitation centres for drug addicts, services for people with disabilities, and victims of abuse).  It funds and partners NGOs and NPOs to assist in delivering these and a range of other services.  For the first time in years this department has achieved stability and can now deepen and broaden its services.

4. Donald Grant - Transport and Public Works (existing Cabinet member that has moved portfolio)

Public Works is a critical portfolio for the major developments envisaged in our five year term, from the City regeneration programme, to the Two Rivers Urban Park, to the redevelopment of the Conradie Precinct, District 6, and major provincial infrastructure projects, including roads, schools, hospitals, clinics, and land consolidation for public services.  Transport is responsible for facilitating the integration of transport services across the province, the oversight and licensing of the taxi industry, for bringing down the death toll on our roads through the "Safely Home" project, and for the management of Provincial Traffic Police amongst other things as well as co-ordination with the municipal police.

5. Bonginkosi Madikizela - Human Settlements 

The most complex portfolio in government from a policy and implementation point of view, requiring depth of understanding, management of complex processes, ongoing conflict resolution, innovation of new delivery methods, mobilization of alternative sources of finance and resolute leadership.

6. Dr Ivan Meyer - Finance (existing Cabinet member that has moved portfolio's)

This "backbone" department is responsible for aligning the provincial budget with the provincial strategic plan, as well as the integrated development plans and budgets of local governments.  It must oversee the province's "operation clean audit" programme, and interact with the National Treasury in the management of the Province's financial affairs.

7. Dan Plato - Community Safety

This is an oversight portfolio with major new challenges including the implementation of the oversight mechanisms of the Community Safety Act, pilot projects of the Safety Lab, and strategies to combat drug and alcohol abuse, including the new Liquor Act.  It also requires extensive liaison and partnerships with communities in developing our "whole of society" approach to safety.

8. Alan Winde - Agriculture and Economic Development

Alan Winde will now lead the Departments of Agriculture and Economic Development and Tourism. In a new innovation, the two departments have to maximize economic growth and job creation potential in the Western Cape.  Agriculture and Tourism constitute the backbone of the Western Cape's economy, with many rapidly developing sectors in ascendancy.  Outstanding leadership of these portfolios is essential to maximize job creation.

I am confident that this new team has the right blend of skills, expertise and experience to deliver on the promises we have made to citizens and to continue making progress in realising our goal of becoming the best run regional government in the world.

Statement issued by Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, May 21 2014

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