The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry would like to congratulate Mr Sihle Zikalala on his official inauguration as the new Premier of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

As a representative of organised business, the Durban Chamber welcomes the election of Mr Zikalala, who is the out-going MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs as well as the current KZN ANC Chairperson.

Mr Zikalala has proven during his tenure as MEC to understand the importance of working with the business community and played a crucial role in addressing the concerns of organised business. As MEC, Mr Zikalala has also demonstrated commitment to realising opportunity creation and job creation as well as inclusive economic growth and development within KZN through the numerous initiatives and programmes introduced during his tenure such as Operation Vula, Operation Vuma and KZN Youth Fund.

On behalf of organised business, the Durban Chamber applauds Mr Zikalala for continuously being accessible and actively engaged with organised business and decisive with regards to the sustainable, inclusive economic development and growth of our Province.

Organised business is looking to the new Premier to continue promoting public private partnerships which are crucial in creating a conducive economic and business environment to facilitate and promote economic growth and affect socio-economic development.

The Durban Chamber trusts that, as the new Premier of KZN, Mr Zikalala will immediately focus on the main concerns of the organised business community such as the implementation of anti-corruption initiatives and programmes; improving service delivery as well as infrastructure development and maintenance, which is the foundation of economic growth and development; improving governance and efficiencies of National Key points and State-Owned Enterprises; and the better utilisation of and support for special economic zones.

The Durban Chamber believes we all need to be accountable and pro-active and therefore fully supports the new Premier and look forward to working with his office to develop programmes and projects that actively address not only the Province’s socio-economic development and growth goals but also tackles the socio-economic ills and imbalances such as unemployment. The Durban Chamber would like the new Premier to continue to ensure that investors not only maintain but expand on their investments in our province and that we keep presenting KZN as a local and international investment destination of choice.

In conclusion, the Durban Chamber trusts that Mr Zikalala will continue to actively engage with organised business and the chamber movement as well as support programmes and initiatives that work towards our common objective of inclusive, sustainable economic growth of our Province.