The African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng’s Ekurhuleni region has reminded new Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula of the contentious e-tolls matter that awaits his urgent attention as he takes office.
The region held its executive council meeting this week and congratulated President Cyril Ramaphosa and his newly appointed 28-member Cabinet.
“The regional executive committee [REC] wishes to congratulate the appointment of Fikile Mbalula as minister of transport. The ANC in Ekurhuleni is inspired by the energy and skills which he continues to possess,” the ANC the region said in a statement.
“However, the REC wishes to draw the attention of Fikile Mbalula to the continuing e-toll saga in Gauteng.
“The REC wishes to highlight the need for the new minister of transport and the MEC of public transport and road infrastructure, Jacob Mamabolo, to pay urgent attention to e-tolls.
“The ANC continues to unapologetically stand firm behind the resolution of the 13th provincial conference of ANC Gauteng which resolved quite decisively on e-tolls.”
Mbalula is a previous minister of sports and later became police minister in former president Jacob Zuma’s executive teams. He was ANC’s head of elections in the run-up to the May 8 general elections.
The sentiments from Ekurhuleni come after its chairperson Mzwandile Masina fired a salvo at Ramaphosa on Twitter on Wednesday following the announcement of new ministers and their deputies.
Masina criticised Ramaphosa for re-appointing Pravin Gordhan as public enterprises minister, saying the ANC national executive committee should ” look into the matter urgently”.
“The appointment of Pravin undermines the rule of law and makes [a] mockery of our democracy. This is really out of order! I hope the NEC looks into this matter urgently,” Masina tweeted.
Suggestions by other users that his Twitter account could be hacked and that it couldn’t be him blasting the president were met with a stern reply from Masina: “No. It’s me. Pravin must go … he is not above the law.”
ANC NEC member Tony Yengeni agreed with Masina and tweeted a reply: “Absolutely. Wrong is wrong no matter who does it. Right is right no matter who does it! (sic).”
Gordhan’s return to public enterprises was met with mixed reactions after public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found him guilty of improper conduct over his granting former South African Revenue Service deputy commissioner, Ivan Pillay, early retirement in 2010.
Gordhan was finance minister while Oupa Magashula was the tax boss at the time.
However, Gordhan is fighting the Mkhwebane report and has filed an affidavit in the high court to have it reviewed.
The minister argues that Mkhwebane erred in her report and was “totally wrong, both in fact and in law”.