Meokgo Matuba. Picture: SUPPLIED
Meokgo Matuba. Picture: SUPPLIED

The ANC Women’s League in North West is pushing for Pinky Moloi, Susana Dantjie or Meokgo Matuba to replace Job Mokgoro as premier of the platinum-mining province.

Moloi is former mayor of Dr Kenneth Kaunda district municipality while Dantjie was speaker of the North West provincial legislature during the most recent administration. League national secretary-general Matuba is also being touted for the top job.

Following its special NEC meeting, the ANC announced on Monday night the names of seven premier candidates for the eight provinces it retained in the general elections held on May 8.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said the party will make a decision on the North West premier in due course. Of the seven candidates named by the party, only two, league deputy president Sisi Ntombela for the Free State and Refilwe Mtsweni for Mpumalanga, are women.

The league criticised the party on Tuesday for not adhering to its promise to appoint women to half the premiership posts and is  lobbying for a third female candidate.

League provincial secretary Bridgette Seakamo told Business Day that it had settled on the three names after analysing the political dynamics in the province, which was placed under administration in 2018. 

She described the three leaders as unifiers and “strong women” who are prepared to do the hard work, and said that if one of them was  appointed it would speak to the contentious issue of gender balance.

The provincial league will engage with the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC), the highest party decision-making body between conferences, about its preferences, although it is willing to accept any candidate the NEC chooses, Seakamo said.

SA Communist Party provincial secretary Madoda Sambatha said Mokgoro should continue as premier because he is a good administrator, and lashed out at what he termed those using gender for factional purposes.

He commended Mokgoro’s hard work in turning the situation around in the province, which was rocked by a series of service delivery protests that forced Supra Mahumapelo to resign as premier in 2018.

Following Mahumapelo’s resignation, the ANC disbanded the provincial leadership and replaced it with a provincial task team, but that decision was  overturned by the South Gauteng High Court.

Sambatha argued that it was wrong for the issue of gender balance to be imposed on North West as the area is the only ANC province to have produced three female premiers since the dawn of democracy. Edna Molewa (2004-2009), Maureen Modiselle (2009-2010) and Thandi Modise (2010-2014) have all been premiers of the province.

“Females must never be seen to be qualifying on a gender ticket only,” he said, criticising the league for keeping quiet about the decision to replace Sylvia Lucas with ANC provincial chair Zamani Saul for the Northern Cape premiership.

The issue of gender balance in the province is being used to fight factional battles, Sambatha said.

“We are clear that we want someone who is prepared to stabilise the province, just like Mokgoro is doing,” he said.

mkentanel@businesslive.co.za