An all male and predominantly white cabinet has taken office in the Western Cape under the leadership of premier Helen Zille, leader of the national official opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA). DA took the province from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in the 22 April elections.
The eleven-member cabinet is dominated by representatives of DA, although one position has gone to a representative of the Independent Democrats (ID).
Responsibility for health has gone to Theuns Botha, a farmer and businessman from Riversdale, who led the official opposition in the 2004-2009 provincial legislature. Gerrit Van Rensburg, a farmer from Mossel Bay, has been put in charge of agriculture while community safety is the responsibility of Lennit Max, former provincial police commissioner of the Western Cape. Former retailer and activist Robin Carlisle holds the portfolio for transport and public works and Dr Ivan Meyer, senior lecturer in public policy and local governance at the University of Stellenbosch, is in charge of social development.
Other appointments include Alan Winde, former Western Cape provincial finance chairman, as member of the executive council (MEC) for finance, economic development and tourism, Anton Bredell, former executive mayor of Swartland municipality, as MEC for local government, environmental affairs and development planning, Bonginkosi Madikizela, former chairperson of the Khayelitsha Development Forum, as MEC for housing, Donald Grant, former councillor in Bitou municipality, as MEC for education, and Sakkie Jenner a former member of the national parliament and the ID Western Cape Leader, as MEC for cultural affairs and sport.
The choice of government team has drawn criticism from some quarters, with the Congress of South Africa Trade Union (COSATU) announcing a legal challenge with the human rights commission, the public protector and the equality court. However, in a statement released on 8 May Zille defended her selection