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ANC's Sihle Zikalala elected KZN premier, Ntobeko Boyce gets speaker nod

Zikalala was declared the new leader of the government in the province during the first sitting of the 6th provincial legislature in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday morning.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala in the provincial legislature on 22 May 2019. Picture: @kzngov/Twitter

DURBAN – African National Congress (ANC) KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Sihle Zikalala has been elected as the premier of the province.

Zikalala was declared the new leader of the government in the province during the first sitting of the 6th provincial legislature in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday morning.

He is expected to be officially sworn in as premier on 27 May.

The ANC received 54% of the votes in this year’s national elections, a decline from the 65.3% it received in 2014.

Former ANC chief whip in the provincial legislature Ntobeko Boyce was elected speaker.

Harry Gwala District Mayor Mluleki Ndobe was elected deputy speaker.

Ndobe was arrested two months ago in connection with the 2017 murder of former ANC Youth League secretary Sindiso Magaqa.

The charges against him have since been provisionally withdrawn, with police citing insufficient evidence.

Zikalala has outlined his administration’s priorities over the next five years, saying poverty alleviation and youth unemployment would be top of the list.

He said he would hit the ground running to address some of the challenges in the province.

“To improve service delivery, fight poverty and unemployment, fight crime and corruption, promote rural development, fast-track radical economic transformation and revamping our health and education system” was his goad, said Zikalala.