KZN premier Sihle Zikalala announces cabinet at low-cost inauguration

KZN premier Sihle Zikalala at his low-cost inauguration in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.
KZN premier Sihle Zikalala at his low-cost inauguration in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.
Image: Facebook/EDTEA KZN

Newly inaugurated KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala announced his provincial cabinet for the next five years on Monday - and it was not without a few surprises.

About 200 guests, including former president Jacob Zuma, controversial eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and police minister Bheki Cele, attended Zikalala’s inauguration as premier in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.

The event, which was downsized to save costs, took place at the premier's Parkside residence - instead of being the usual grand affair at the Royal Show grounds.

Zuma did not attend President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration in Johannesburg on Saturday, claiming he was too busy with his legal battles.

Zikalala’s cabinet includes:

  • Bongi Sithole-Moloi: MEC for agriculture and rural development;
  • Hlengiwe Mavimbela: MEC for arts and culture, sports and recreation;
  • Sipho Hlomuka: MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs;
  • Mxolisi Kaunda: MEC for transport, community safety and liaison;
  • Nomusa Dube-Mncube: economic development, tourism and environmental affairs MEC;
  • Kwazi Mshengu: education MEC;
  • Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu; health MEC; 
  • Nonhlanhla Khoza: MEC for social development;
  • Ravi Pillay: provincial treasury MEC;
  • Peggy Nkonyeni: public works MEC.

The controversial former education MEC Nkonyeni, who resigned from her post in 2016, makes a comeback, as the public works MEC, while ANC provincial spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu replaces Sibongiseni Dhlomo as health MEC.

The education portfolio has been awarded to ANC Youth League leader Kwazi Mshengu.

Former public works MEC Ravi Pillay has been charged with the provincial treasury, while former Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Mncube takes over Zikala’s position as MEC for economic development.

Zikalala, during his address, said he fully concurred with Ramaphosa who said during his  inauguration on Saturday "South Africans want action and not just words and promises. And there will be action."

The KZN premier said: "Over the next few weeks ... the incoming administration will consolidate and begin to implement a comprehensive plan to ensure growth and development of our province."

Among his priorities are tackling the provision of basic services, job creation, growing the economy and the provision of housing.

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