Mkhize promises peace in province
New KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize has made an impassioned plea for unity in the province.
He also sprung a "few surprises" when he announced his new cabinet in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.
Speaking soon after he took his oath of office, Mkhize said it was time for the people of KwaZulu-Natal to hold each other's hands and make a fresh start, "building on whatever we have already achieved".
"This is therefore my call to all the people of KwaZulu-Natal - to embrace this new hope for a better future and make a fresh start together as one people.
"The government you have elected will work closely with all the people of our province to promote love, friendship, good fellowship and ensure that peace becomes a permanent feature of KwaZulu-Natal."
Mkhize also called on minority communities to come forward and interact with the government and make contributions that will shape government policies to address issues that concern them.
In a move that shocked many, he appointed former education MEC Ina Cronjé as new MEC for finance - the department he held before his election as premier.
Mkhize also split the department of finance from that of economic development, which will now be headed by former traditional affairs MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu.
He also combined the ministries of arts, culture and tourism with sports and recreation under MEC Weziwe Thusi.
Former public works MEC Lydia Johnson was appointed MEC for agriculture and rural development.
Political analyst Zakhele Ndlovu, from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, praised Mkhize for assembling a "solid team".