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Rise of EFF, splash of colour from Marais to shake up Western Cape legislature

With the rise of the EFF and colourful politician Peter Marais back in the fray, house sittings in the Western Cape legislature promise to deliver fierce debate.

FILE: Western Cape Premier Helen Zille seated in the provincial legislature as points of order were being raised by ANC MPLs on 20 February 2015. Picture: Chanel September/EWN

CAPE TOWN - In less than a week, the new Western Cape premier will be sworn in along with several new and old faces.

With the rise of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and colourful politician Peter Marais from the Freedom Front Plus back in the fray, house sittings promise to deliver fierce debate.

Even before they were officially sworn in as members of the provincial legislature, Marais and the Democratic Alliance's (DA) Bonginkosi Madikizela were already attacking each other - a testament of the heated debates, heckling and drama that can be expected from members of the new Western Cape legislature.

Troublemakers the EFF now have four members and are likely to be led by provincial leader Melikhaya Xego.

The African Christian Democratic Party showed no growth in the elections. It’s still represented by Ferlon Christians who is the sole representative for the party.

The Good party secured two seats in the legislature and it will be represented by Brett Herron, while it’s still unclear who the second candidate will be.

On its candidate list, however, singer Alistair Izobell looked likely to claim that spot.

Newcomers from the DA included David Maynier who had been serving the party in the National Assembly. It would also be the first time for Andricus van der Westhuizen and Deidre Baartman.

INCOMING PREMIER TIGHT-LIPPED ABOUT PLANS

The African National Congress benches, with 12 members, will largely feature the same faces from the previous administration.

Most of Premier Helen Zille's MEC's have been re-elected to the legislature.

But it remained to be seen whether they would stay in the provincial cabinet.

Zille was heavily criticised following the previous two elections for cabinets that were dominated by white men.

Incoming premier Alan Winde has remained tight-lipped about his plans.

“We’ve got a good understanding of where it is hurting and what the big issues are. We are proud of what we delivered but we still have a long way to go.”

The DA's federal executive was meeting in Johannesburg on Monday to discuss MEC's and other positions in the legislature it controls.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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