The appointment of the African National Congress (ANC) chairman in KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala as the economic development MEC for the province has received a warm welcome by the people particularity Willies Mchun who sees him as the very ‘central figure’ that could drive economic transformation in the province.
The ANC chairman in KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikalala was appointed economic development MEC for the province on Monday following a provincial cabinet reshuffle. His new appointment followed followed the resignation of Senzo Mchunu as premier last month.
Mchunu stepped down following a request by the provincial executive committee to do so or face being recalled by the party. He was replaced by KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairman Willies Mchunu.
Speaking on Zikalala’s new appointment, Muchunu pointed out that Zikalala is just the best candidate to give the province’s economy a huge turn around.
“We need to look at who has been the central figure in terms of pursuing the economic transformation agenda as decided in Mangaung (2012), and for that position, the obvious person appeared to be the person who has been central to driving policy programmes of the ANC, and that is the honourable member Sihle Zikalala,” he said.
Sihle Zikalala is known for his strong support for President Zuma despite the overwhelming cries for the president to step down especially at the time when the constitutional court ruled against him over the Nkandla matter.
Meanwhile, the ruling ANC in the province said it had done a proper and “detailed assessment” of all the municipalities and provincial government departments and had later decided to make necessary changes in four provincial departments.
Bongi Sithole Moloi was appointed MEC for sport, arts and culture, replacing Ntombi Sibhidla-Saphetha; Themba Mthembu replaces replacing Cyril Xaba as MEC for agriculture and rural development; Mthandeni Dlungwane is the new education MEC, replacing Peggy Nkonyeni; while Mxolisi Kaunda takes over as transport MEC from Willies Mchunu.
The ANC however denied the allegation that the party’s sudden appointment of South African Communist Party provincial secretary Themba Mthembu as the new agriculture MEC was a move to appease the alliance partner.
“We would like to put it on record, in our district, that it will be very difficult for the SACP to campaign for the imposed candidates in eThekwini region until all the hot spot areas like Folweni Township, Umbumbulu and Umlazi are attended to.
“All the ward disputes are dealt with fairly and honestly, all those who have violated the list process guidelines are dealt with and all those who topped the list during the ward conferences will be retained,” the party said in a statement.
The ANC reshuffled the KwaZulu-Natal Cabinet on Monday and Mthembu replaced Cyril Xaba as agriculture and rural development MEC.