Newly-elected KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala being sworn in in Pietermaritzburg. Zikalala announced his new 10-member cabinet on Monday. Picture: MotshwarI Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA)

PIETERMARITZBURG - There were wild cheers from the ANC Youth League in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) when some of its leaders made it to the new provincial cabinet whose members were announced by the Premier Sihle Zikalala in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.

After his inauguration, Zikalala named current ANC Youth League KZN chairman Kwazi Mshengu as the new Education MEC, and former youth league leader Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu as new KZN Health MEC.  

Provincial youth league secretary Thanduxolo Sabela hailed the two appointments, saying they would add much needed energy in the two crucial portfolios. 

"This is a wonderful development for the province to have such a youthful cabinet, we are even more grateful that the premier has made such appointments in two crucial portfolios," said Sabela.

He added that the youth league had been consistent in calling for young people to be appointed in important positions in government line with the league's position that there should be a generational mix when cabinet appointments are made.

Sabela said the newly appointed members of the KZN executive have what it takes to deal with the myriad problems facing KZN.

Other important appointments included deputy KZN ANC secretary Sipho Hlomuka - also from the youth league ranks - who is the new Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC. Her predecessor Nomusa Dube Ncube is the new Economic Development and Tourism MEC.

Peggy Nkonyeni who was axed during a cabinet reshuffle in 2016 made a return to the provincial cabinet as the new Public Works and Human Settlements MEC. 

Ravi Pillay takes over as Finance MEC and Bongi Sithole Moloi is the new Agriculture MEC.

Former President Jacob Zuma, and former premiers, Dr. Ben Ngubane and Sibusiso Ndebele were among the audience that also included former premier Willies Mchunu.

African News Agency (ANA)