Senzo Mchunu is one of the big names in South African politics today particularly when it concerns the affairs of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). The Politician has seen himself rise from being a teacher in the late 80s to holding the office of Premier of KwaZulu-Natal in the early 2010s. He has since gotten close to attaining the position of Secretary-General of his party before he was appointed to serve as the Minister of Public Service and Administration under President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Senzo Mchunu Biography
Edward Senzo Mchunu was welcomed to the world on the 1st of April 1958 in the area of Hlabisa in northern KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. He is one of four children to Elliot Dela Nyawozekewu Mchunu and Hambaphi Mchunu.
Mchunu began his education at iNhlwathi Primary School before moving to Mbopha Secondary School in KwaHlabisa for his secondary education. He is also said to have spent time in Amakholwa High School. For his tertiary education, he attended the University of Zululand and the University of South Africa where he received a Secondary Teachers’ Diploma and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Education and International Relations respectively.
Senzo Mchunu would go-ahead to get teaching experience at St. Augustine’s High School in Nquthu, as well at Impande High School in Nkangala before quitting to begin life as a politician. He joined the African National Congress (ANC) and became a full-time politician in 1991. He was appointed as a scribe of the Regional Interim Committee of the party in Northern Natal. The following year, he became the area’s first Regional Secretary, a position he would continue to hold until the merger of the Zulu Bantustan of KwaZulu and Natal Province when he then became the first provincial secretary of the party in the province.
In 1997, Mchunu was elected the Regional Deputy Secretary of the ANC. In the same year, he was elected into the Kwazulu-Natal (KZN) legislative house where he was made the chairman of the Agriculture Portfolio Committee from 1998 to 2002, and Chairman of the Social Development Portfolio Committee from 2002 to 2004. His next position was as Chairperson of the Education Portfolio Committee from 2004 to 2009.
In 2009, Senzo Mchunu was made a Member of the Executive Council for the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal. He maintained a seat in the MEC until 2013 when he became the Provincial Chairperson of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal and then the acting Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Province. He would go-ahead to officially hold the position until May 2016 when he resigned.
Wife and Children
In July 1990, after having dated for a five year period, Senzo Mchunu married his wife Thandeka who he had known ever since she was 16. As the story goes, their relationship started off from them being friends before evolving into a romance, a fact that Thandeka says would ensure their love would never die.
Like her husband, Thandeka Mchunu is a politician and also an ANC member. The Umbumbulu College of Education graduate is a former district municipality mayor of uThungulu in Kwazulu-Natal.
Together, the couple has four children; two boys and two girls named Zinhle, Mathuthu, Jama, and Phakade. Zinhle is a sister-nurse while Mathuthu, as of 2015, just graduated from university. The two younger kids; Jama and Phakade are still in school.
What is Senzo Mchunu Salary?
While serving as the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Senzo Mchunu took home an annual salary of R2.08 million. In 2016, the legislature of the province pushed to give the premier a 5% increase in his annual salary which would have put his earnings at R2.1 million. The ANC, however, called for its members to refuse salary increases as they tried to tackle the economic situation in the country.
In his current position as Minister of Public Service and Administration, Mchunu is believed to take him just over R2.4 million, which is the annual salary of President Ramaphosa’s cabinet ministers.
NB: These salaries come with other perks that include official vehicles, accommodation, and travel among other out-of-pocket expenses.
Other Facts You Need To Know
1. Mchunu returned to school in 2002. He enrolled at the University of Free State for a two-year Masters program in Political Transformation.
2. In May 2016, the KwaZulu-Natal premier was made to resign from his position by the national working committee of his party after various allegations that were not made public were leveled against him. These allegations were later speculated in the media to concern the increase of the number of staff in his office by around 200 and meddling in the activities of some members of the executive councils.