SIHLE Zikalala has resigned as premier of KwaZulu-Natal, few weeks after losing the leadership contest for ANC provincial chairperson to the ‘Taliban’ faction.
Zikalala made the announcement at a media briefing on Friday afternoon, saying he was stepping down in the interests of moving the governing forward and to avoid becoming a distraction.
Over the past weekend, Zikalala is understood to have also held a private meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa on the sidelines of the ANC policy conference, informing him of his decision to quit.
“I’ve taken a position to resign the position of the premier of KwaZulu Natal province. I’ve taken this decision consciously and expeditiously so that there is no doubt about the strategic direction that the movement and the government should be taking going forward,” said Zikalala.
“It is my principled position that the ANC remains the strategic centre of power. We should provide uninterrupted strategic leadership in the movement, the society and government. As an individual member of the ANC, or as individual members of the ANC, we joined the organisation voluntarily and with no expectation of material benefit.
Among those who will be interviewed for the position of KZN premier include Nomusa Dube-Ncube, Amanda Bani and Mbali Fraizer.
The ANC in the province released a statement thanking Zikalala for his dedication to serve the people of KwaZuu-Natal.
“The ANC accepted Comrade Zikalala’s resignation with pain and difficulty as he was still doing a great job in the province since he took over.”
“We are grateful to the job he has done for the people of this province and we appreciate that he made a conscious decision not to leave office hastily,” the statement read.
“Comrade Zikalala’s tenure has come with a lot of good in the province, including a number of provincial government departments receiving unqualified audit outcomes for the first time.”
“We thank Comrade Zikalala for his dedication to serve the people of KwaZulu-Natal as he was mandated by the ANC.”