'I will turn Zululand around'

FORMER IFP MPL Blessed Gwala says he wants to turn Zululand District "green".

Gwala is the new mayor of Zululand District Municipality, and replaces IFP national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, who was recently redeployed to the provincial legislature.

Gwala, a former MEC for public works, will today be sworn in as political head of one of the poorest districts in the province. Zululand is made up of Pongola, Ulundi, Nongoma, Abaqulusi and eDumbe municipalities.

Speaking to Sowetan yesterday before taking office, Gwala said his main priority was to change people's lives by making sure that they have food on the table.

He said he wants to improve and perfect the programmes started by his predecessor, Magwaza-Msibi, insisting that he wants to see the whole of the district go green.

"My main priority is to ensure that people have access to clean, running water, which is a huge challenge. Poverty is rife in this region, as a result I will encourage a green revolution - where every household has a garden.

"I will make sure that there are systems in place to assist people to plant vegetables and other nutritious food," Gwala said.