Newly-elected KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala at his swearing in. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA).

Pietermaritzburg - Shortly after being sworn into office by KZN Judge President Achmat Jappie, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala pledged that his government will be a transparent one and not seek to sideline opposition parties.

Delivering a long speech that touched on several topical issues, Zikalala said they will never use their majority in the provincial legislature, where they hold 44 of the 80 seats, to evade accountability.

"As the provincial government, we pledge to work and cooperate with all political parties in the legislature. We take a solemn vow that we will serve the people of KwaZulu-Natal without regard to their political affiliation, creed, status, or location. We are a creation of a people’s movement, the African National Congress, which embodies and cherishes the best values of human civilisation. We are tolerant to a multiplicity of divergent views, yet remain steadfastly principled and uncompromising on our goal to unite our nation and deliver a better life for all," he said.

Laying his cards on the table as he takes over as the leader of the province, Zikalala said poverty will be public enemy number one, adding that it de-humanises people and strips them of their dignity.

"We want to declare poverty as a public enemy. We say so because poverty creates a vicious cycle of hunger, indignity, and insecurity. It contributes to social instability, crime, moral decay, and compounds the impact of under-development.," Zikalala said before announcing his cabinet of 10 people to conduct political oversight on ten departments. 

On the economic front, he said his government will fully purse the radical economic agenda but it will do so in an orderly manner, saying those who opt for thuggery and pure criminality will not be embraced. 

He added that crime has equally become a vicious scourge in many areas. 

"People live in fear as criminals embark on a reign of terror in communities. The situation gets compounded by the lack of effective response from law enforcement agencies because of apparent lack of capacity, inadequate resources, or alleged lack of commitment from the police. We will monitor the functioning of all police stations which have high levels of crime and ensure that we take necessary interventions."

His new Cabinet members are:

Ravi Pillay: MEC for Finance, also called the KZN Treasury (post previously held by Belinda Scott).

Kwazi Mshengu: MEC for Education (post previously held by Mthandeni Dlungwane).

Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu: MEC for Health (post previously held by Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo). 

Nomusa Dube Ncube: MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.

Sipho Hlomuka: MEC for Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs (post previously held by Nomusa Dube-Ncube).

Hlengiwe Mavimbela: MEC for Sport, Recreation Arts (post previously held by Bongi Sithole-Moloi).

Mxolisi Kaunda: MEC for Transport and Community Safety.

Nonhlanhla Khoza: MEC for Social Development (post previously held by Weziwe Thusi).

Peggy Nkonyeni: MEC for Human Settlements  (post previously held by Ravi Pillay).

Bongi Sithole: MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development. (post previously held by Themba Mthembu).

Political Bureau