Zweli Mkhize

2009-05-04 00:00

Just as the recent election raised some questions about the workings of this country’s proportional franchise system, so too has the manner in which the majority party appoints provincial premiers. Rather than have its representatives in the provincial legislatures choose their own leaders, the African National Congress’s National Executive Committee makes these appointments. There is sound logic in balancing the genders of major office-bearers, but this top-down approach can lead to controversy, as in Gauteng where the current incumbent and locally favoured Paul Mashatile has been unseated in favour of Housing MEC Nomvula Mokonyane.

KwaZulu-Natal, fortunately, has escaped this difficulty. After speculation that he might be included in the national cabinet, the ANC’s provincial chairman Zweli Mkhize has been appointed provincial premier, and is likely to prove a popular and effective choice. Born in Willowfountain and a graduate of Natal University (now UKZN), Mkhize practised medicine both locally and in exile, and was highly respected during his 10 years of service as MEC for Health. In 2004, he took on the provincial Finance and Economic Development portfolio, again managing it effectively. He is currently the leader of Government Business in KwaZulu-Natal, a member of the ANC National Executive Committee, and chairperson of the party’s National Education and Health sub-committee. In these capacities, he has helped frame the government’s health policies and sought to engage with the private sector in enhancing KwaZulu-Natal’s investment potential. He also chairs the 2010 Soccer World Cup Political Oversight Committee. To this wealth of experience he adds a leadership style likely to be different from that of outgoing premier S’bu Ndebele and rather more in the inclusive Zuma mould.

Mkhize now takes on a post with a critical role to play. KwaZulu-Natal is not only the most populous province, but also the one where the divide between the rural and urban communities is most marked and government funding most thinly spread. Post-election violence has already shown how political rancour still simmers. Mkhize is no stranger to the political battlefront. His challenge now is to bring all his experience, skill and sensitivity to bear on building harmony and wellbeing.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.