Durban - Unlike in previous years where provincial Premiers were sworn in at a large gathering at the Royal Showgrounds in the provincial capital of Pietermaritzburg, KZN’s incoming premier, Sihle Zikalala, has opted for a small inauguration ceremony to save money.
The small ceremony is expected to take place on Monday morning at the Premier’s official residence of Parkside in Pietermaritzburg in front of a group of guests of not more than 200, including a contingent of members of the media.
The head of the provincial government communications, Mandla Msomi, said the cost cutting measures have been there for years and the decision to have a small gathering was informed by that.
“This is a cost-cutting measure by the provincial government and this has been going on for years, hence we will not have a big inauguration ceremony,” Msomi said.
Msomi said he was not at liberty for now to reveal how much this small gathering will cost.
Asked when the provincial cabinet will be announced, he said it may be announced shortly after the inauguration of Zikalala.
“We are not sure for now but it may be announced on the day of the inauguration or the following day after it,” he said.
Among those tipped to make a surprise comeback to the provincial cabinet are former MECs Peggy Nkonyeni (former education MEC) and Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha (former sports and recreation MEC). Newcomers who are expected to make it to the new cabinet includes Sipho Hlomuka, the current provincial deputy secretary and Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, the current spokesperson of the party in the province.
Shortly after Zikalala’s inauguration, there will be a state of the province address (Sopa) which would be followed by the provincial budget speech and the tabling of the departmental budgets. That will be the beginning of the 2019-2024 journey for the new provincial government.