Statement by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul, on the announcement of the Executive Council Reshuffle

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Members of the media

The resignation of the MEC for Social Development, and MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, Ms Bernice Sinxeve spurred the cabinet reshuffling I’m about to announce.

I wish to thank them for their service to the people of the Northern Cape in the portfolios that they served in the Executive, for the diligent manner in which they conducted their assignment and for being disciplined members of the Executive.

Before I continue with announcing changes to the Executive, I want to reflect briefly on our Covid-19 response. We are still the Province with the lowest number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. Since we last met however, things have since taken a drastic change and we have seen an increase in the number of positive cases. As at yesterday, the number of confirmed positive cases stands at 318, which accounts for 0.3% of the active cases in the country. The total number of recoveries is 112 and one death. As at 19 June we have also had a total of 22 healthcare workers in the Province being infected with Covid-19 and to date 13 have recovered.

Mass screenings, active case finding and contact tracing remains key to the prevention of rapid infections. The tracing rate among identified contacts is almost 100%, with only two contacts that could not be traced in March among the first cases, but tracing has since improved with all effort being employed to trace every close contact.

This success in tracing has been one of the critical interventions in halting the spread of Covid-19 that could have resulted in larger community outbreaks. To this end more than 1.7 million screenings have been conducted and 21 564 tests have been done in the Province.

In our Province the Sol Plaatje Municipality is considered to be a High Risk area with a total number of 68 cases and Umsobomvu Municipality extremely High risk with a total of 76 cases. We call on everyone to abide by the Covid-19 protocols and minimise movement, especially inter-provincially and wear face masks at all times.

With the opening of our schools, we have also seen a spike in infections which has resulted in the 6 schools being closed thus far due to Covid-19 infections. These schools are mainly located within the Pixley Ka Seme District, where mass testing is currently underway by the Department of Health.

We are monitoring the situation very closely and ensuring that all systems are in place at schools. Although 6 schools have been affected thus far, we must indicate that it is not a breakout of COVID-19 infections, but rather individual cases that were reported. The closures of these schools are in relation to our Standard Operating Procedures. Some of the schools that have received the results of their contact traces, which came back negative and therefore the Department of Education is preparing for these schools to reopen. Once a positive case is reported, the Department immediately disinfects the school. We will further determine whether staff or learners at the affected schools will require psycho-social support and assist in this regard.

We wish to encourage all our school communities, especially our educators, parents and learners to continue to practice good hygiene and social distancing at home, whilst always wearing your mask. This will contribute significantly to limit the spread of COVID-19 or contracting the virus. During this difficult period, it is expected of all South Africans to act responsibly and adhere to the COVID-19 regulations and guidelines.

Let me return to the business of today.

The changes to the Provincial Executive Council will come into effect immediately and are as follows:

  • MEC for Health: Mr Maruping Lekwene
  • MEC for Public Works: Ms Fufe Makatong
  • MEC for Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and Environmental Affairs and Nature Conservtion: Ms Mase Manopole
  • MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture: Ms Desiree Lorenda Finies
  • MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison: Ms Nomandla Bloem
  • MEC for Social Development: Ms Nontobeko Vilakazi
  • MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism: Mr Abraham Vosloo

The MEC for Education, Mr Macollen Jack and the MEC for COGHSTA Mr Bentley Vass will remain in their current portfolios. It is expected that these MECs; with their respective departments, will remain committed to ensuring a competent administration that will continue to serve the people as we build a Modern, Growing and Successful Province.

The Northern Cape Provincial Government remains committed to ensuring a competent Public Service that has the interests of the people of this Province at heart.

The new Members of the Executive Council will be sworn-in by the Judge President of the Northern Cape High Court Division, Judge Pule Tlaletsi, today, at 15h00.

Thank you

Released by the Office of the Premier
Bronwyn Thomas-Abrahams, Spokesperson to the Premier, 083 447 6586, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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