ANC Gauteng Chairperson, Panyaza Lesufi has been elected as the new Premier of Gauteng province, following the resignation of David Makhura on Tuesday.
The outgoing MEC for Education laid out his plan for the province in his inaugural speech following his smooth election at the Legislature on Thursday.
He has vowed to prioritize education as a catalytic driver of the province’s economic development.
The proceedings, during the election process, were presided by Deputy Judge President of the North Gauteng High Court, Judge Aubrey Ledwaba.
Lesufi contested the position with Gauteng Democratic Alliance chairperson, Solly Msimanga. With 38 votes, Lesufi pipped Msimanga (22) to the post. Notably, members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) did not participate in the voting process.
Addressing the Legislature for the first time as Premier, Lesufi said his appointment was nothing to celebrate, “but a reminder that you must serve with integrity, humility and dignity”.
“As long as our townships are still the way they are, our freedom has not arrived. As long as we still have informal settlements, we have not accomplished our tasks.
“As long as we still have dirty and smelly hostels, we have not achieved our goals.
“As long as our people in rural areas are struggling to get water, then our mission for a better free South Africa must continue,” he said.
The Premier called on Members of the Legislature (MPLs) to always remain sensitive to the imperatives of the Constitution and to conduct themselves with probity and act in the best interest of the people.
His election, he said, was an opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the vote of confidence bestowed on Gauteng MPLs to lead the province.
Paying tribute to the outgoing premier, Lesufi hailed Makhura for leading the province as premier for the past eight years, describing him as “one of the humblest servants” and a “hard act to follow”.