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Premier explains decision to appoint Paul Mashatile

David Makhura has made 3 changes to his cabinet including appointing Mashatile as MEC for Human Settlements.

FILE: Newly appointed Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura says the decision to appoint Paul Mashatile to his cabinet was made by the national and provincial African National Congress (ANC) leadership.

Makhura has made three changes to his provincial cabinet, including appointing Mashatile as MEC for Human Settlements and Co-operative Governance.

Infrastructural Development MEC Nandi Mayathula Khoza moves to Social Development while Human Settlements MEC Jacob Mamabolo will fill her position.

Outgoing Social Development MEC Molebatsi Bopape has left the cabinet.

Makhura says bringing Mashatile back into his cabinet will improve local government at a critical time.

He says the ANC wants to retain local municipalities and the national and provincial leadership have agreed to the move.

"The decision is a decision of the collective and I am responsible for running Gauteng government."

But the premier repeatedly says his decisions are to strengthen local government's capacity, which is different from the ANC's election strategy.

"It's me who was making the case why I need Mashatile here in Gauteng."

Makhura says Mashatile will resign from his post in Parliament today and will be sworn in to his new position this week.

Mashatile is now in the strange position of answering to Makhura in government and acting as his leader in the ANC.

But the two men have had a close working relationship for many years.

Mashatile is also now back as an MEC, having previously been premier himself.

But he is unlikely to see this as a demotion.

Rather, he might see this as a chance to focus on what needs to be done to retain power in Gauteng metros.

His appointment could be seen as a sign that the ANC itself is growing increasingly worried about losing power in Tshwane and possibly even Johannesburg.

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