Sylvia Lucas

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Sylvia Lucas
Premier of the Northern Cape
Assumed office
23 May 2013
Preceded by Hazel Jenkins
Personal details
Political party African National Congress

Sylvia Lucas is the fourth Premier of the Northern Cape Province, South Africa, elected and inaugurated as successor to Hazel Jenkins. She served briefly as Acting Premier and before that as MEC (Member of the Executive Council) for Environmental Affairs in the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature.[1][2][3][4] She was born on 22 April 1964, and grew up in Upington in the Northern Cape.[5]

Education and career[edit]

Lucas attended the Carlton Van Heerden High School in Upington where in the early 1980s she first became involved in political activities.[6]

She later took part in the Rosedale rent boycotts, and was part of the delegation to the Transitional Council, to ensure provision of prepaid electricity to communities when they could not afford conventional electrical power.[7]

Lucas is a former typist for the National Party who joined the ANC in 1992. Sylvia Lucas joined the African National Congress (ANC) as an ordinary branch member in 1992[8][9]

From 1995 to 2000 Lucas served as a councillor for the //Khara Hais Local Municipality, in Upington, while serving in regional structures of the ANC in the area. She served as the first female chairperson of the ANC in Siyanda region from 2001 to 2004.[10]

In 2000 Lucas was elected to serve in the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature. Her name was fourth on the candidate list for the Northern Cape announced by ANC Secretary General Kgalema Motlanthe in 2003.[11]

In 2004 she was elected on the provincial executive committee of the ANC in the Northern Cape. She had also meanwhile risen through the ranks of the ANC Women's League, acting as provincial secretary following the resignation of Maykie Dipuo. This position made her an ex officio member of the league's national executive committee. By 2007, as deputy provincial chairwoman of the Women's League. In 2009 she was appointed as the MEC Environment and Nature Conservation in the Northern Cape..[12]

Lucas participated in ANC international study tours in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, and "holds numerous university certificates."[13]

From Acting Premier to Premier of the Northern Cape[edit]

After former Northern Cape premier Hazel Jenkins collapsed, suffering a stroke, in 2012,[14] the Executive Council of the Province appointed Grizelda Cjiekella as Acting Premier for the duration of Premier Jenkins' incapacity leave.[15] When, a year later, Hazel Jenkins stepped down from the post of Premier of the Northern Cape, it was Sylvia Lucas whom the ANC in the province announced, on 19 April 2013, as the premier's successor.[16][17] On the date set for Lucas's inauguration as Premier, however, the motion to recognise Jenkins' stepping down was opposed on procedural grounds. A vote in the Northern Cape legislature on 30 April 2013, in which opposition parties COPE and the Democratic Alliance took part, failed to achieve the required two-thirds support for the motion to be carried. Accordingly, Jenkins technically remained premier and Lucas was sworn in on the same day as Grizelda Cjiekella's successor as acting premier of the province.[18]

When Hazel Jenkins subsequently resigned, with effect from 22 May 2013,[19] the move towards inaugurating her successor was possible,[20] so that acting premier Sylvia Lucas was officially elected and sworn in as premier of the province on 23 May 2013.[21] She delivered her inaugural speech as Premier on 30 May 2013.[22]

Lucas was re-appointed premier on 20 May 2014, by the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress, following South Africa's 7 May 2014 general election. She was the only woman appointed as a premier in the eight ANC-run provinces.[23]

"Fast Food Premier"[edit]

Premier Lucas came under media scrutiny when it was revealed that she spent R53,000 ($3603.09) on fast food and personal groceries, with her government-issued credit card, in the first ten weeks of her taking up the post. This was calculated to be an average spend of R760 ($51.67), a point that was speedily picked up upon by the official Democratic Alliance opposition.[24]

The Premier defended her high charges by remarking, "How would we have eaten if we didn't use taxpayers' money?". The ANC later weighed in, defending the Premier, and lashed out against the various political and editorial cartoonists that had lampooned her in print media – particularly against notorious cartoonist, Jonathan Shapiro.[25] She became popularly nicknamed the "Fast Food Premier" in media reports and newspaper headlines.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lucas appointed new Northern Cape Premier
  2. ^ "Jenkins bly premier: opposisie slaan kitaar in politieke drama" (Jenkins remains premier: opposition strums the guitar in political drama), Volksblad, 1 May 2013, p 1.
  3. ^ "Jenkins resigns from top post" Diamond Fields Advertiser 23 May 2013 p 8.
  4. ^ Northern Cape premier to be elected, sworn in – City Press 23 May 2013
  5. ^ "Sylvia – a profile of a Premier " Diamond Fields Advertiser 3 April 2013 p 2.
  6. ^ Lucas appointed new Northern Cape Premier, SABC News, 19 April 2013
  7. ^ Lucas appointed new Northern Cape Premier, SABC News, 19 April 2013
  8. ^ Mail and Guardian 10 Apr 2013
  9. ^ "Sylvia – a profile of a Premier " Diamond Fields Advertiser 3 April 2013 p 2.
  10. ^ "Sylvia – a profile of a Premier " Diamond Fields Advertiser 3 April 2013 p 2.
  11. ^ "Sylvia – a profile of a Premier " Diamond Fields Advertiser 3 April 2013 p 2.
  12. ^ "Sylvia – a profile of a Premier " Diamond Fields Advertiser 3 April 2013 p 2.
  13. ^ Lucas appointed new Northern Cape Premier, SABC News, 19 April 2013
  14. ^ Premier suffers stroke; Jenkins needs time to recover. Diamond Fields Advertiser 20 February 2012, pp 1–3
  15. ^ Appointment of Acting Premier
  16. ^ The SABC reported, 19 April 2013 (Lucas appointed new Northern Cape Premier, SABC News, 19 April 2013), that: “The ANC's Provincial Secretary, Zamani Saul, made the announcement at the party's provincial headquarters, Amaqhawe Building, in the absence of current Acting Premier, Griezelda Cjiekella and ANC chairperson, John Block, who are both on a ten-day visit to Dublin, Ireland.”
  17. ^ The Lucas family home in Upington was allegedly petrol bombed just two weeks after her nomination for the post.(Mail and Guardian 10 Apr 2013)
  18. ^ "Jenkins bly premier: opposisie slaan kitaar in politieke drama" (Jenkins remains premier: opposition strums the guitar in political drama), Volksblad, 1 May 2013, p 1.
  19. ^ "Jenkins resigns from top post" Diamond Fields Advertiser 23 May 2013 p 8.
  20. ^ Northern Cape premier to be elected, sworn in – City Press 23 May 2013
  21. ^ Lucas elected new Northern Cape Premier – City Press 23 May 16:43
  22. ^ Lucas elected new Northern Cape Premier – City Press 23 May 16:43
  23. ^ One female premier
  24. ^ "Premier's R53 000 fast food bill". IOL News. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  25. ^ Sandi, Kwon Hoo. "ANC slams cartoons of 'fast food premier'". IOL.com. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Hazel Jenkins
Premier of the Northern Cape
from 23 May 2013
Succeeded by
Incumbent