MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal
Born on the 6th of August 1973 in Sonkombo at Ndwedwe, Mr Sihle Zikalala grew in stature to be a man of formidable courage, resilience and epitome of his generation – with many people accrediting him as an accomplished organiser and a workaholic in building and doing organisational work. He was born into the highly religious family which imbued to him a greatest sense of respect and humility – the characteristics he commands from people of all walks of life.
The difficult conditions under which Black people in general and Africans in particular found themselves planted the seed of revolutionary consciousness in him at the tender age of 15 where he started participating in activities of struggle for the liberation of the people and triumph of humanity. This saw the beginning of what had to become an enduring devotion of his entire life in pursuit of liberation. Mr Zikalala worked tirelessly as a volunteer and activist of the movement and participated in the learners’ struggles of the late 1990s. While studying at Mashiyamahle, he became a leading figure in the programme that introduced the concept of the Student, Parent, and Teacher’s Association calling for the reduction of school fees.
Upon the unbanning of the ANC, he was central in rebuilding structures of the ANC and ANCYL in the northern Durban Areas – starting by building ANC and ANCYL structures in Ndwedwe. He served in the first leadership structures of both the ANC and ANCYL at Million Meyiwa Branch. He also served as an Organiser of the ANC in the Ndwedwe between 1993 and 1994 and later he served as the ANC Zonal Chairperson which included Angola, Million Meyiwa and Siyaya branches between 1995 and 1996.
In 1996, Mr Sihle Zikalala was elected into the ANCYL North Durban Regional Executive Committee and in 1997 he become its Regional Chairperson – a position he held until April 2000 when he was elected as the ANCYL Provincial Secretary. It is during this period where his organising acumen became more visible as he contributed to an unprecedented growth of the ANCYL in North Durban and subsequently the whole province of KwaZulu-Natal. In this period, he was also part of the ANCYL initiatives aimed at helping to build unity of the ANC in the province.
While leading the ANCYL between 1996 and 2000 he also served as a councillor in Ilembe District Council and played a central role in peace process in Ndwedwe Area as part of the ANC delegation that led peace negotiations with the IFP.
In October 2004 he was elected Secretary General of the ANCYL where he served with a collective that had immense influence in championing youth development issues in the country and spearheading unity within the ANC.
In 2008 Mr Sihle Zikalala was elected as the Provincial Deputy Secretary of the ANC in KZN and as a Provincial Secretary in 2009. During this period, he contributed to the massive growth of membership and electoral support of the organisation leading to the ANC’s landslide victory in 2009 General Elections and 2011 Local Government Elections.
Mr Sihle Zikalala, is the current Provincial Chairperson of the ANC elected in November 2015 and is an MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs. He holds a Degree in Communication Science from UNISA. He is married to Nelisiwe Zikalala and have two sons and one daughter.