Public Eye (South Africa)

ANC to host a memorial service for Ina Cronjé in Pietermari­tzburg

- Clive Ndou

The ANC will hold a memorial service in Pietermari­tzburg for former Kwazulu-natal Finance MEC Ina Cronjé — who died two weeks ago. A teacher and lawyer by training, Cronjé — who at the time of her death was the chairperso­n of the Trade and Investment KZN (TIKZN) board — was a long-serving member of the ANC.

ANC provincial secretary, Bheki Mtolo, who said Cronjé’s memorial service will be held at the Pietermari­tzburg City Hall on Friday, described her as a selfless leader who served the people of the province well.

“Those who worked closely with her can attest to her dedication and ability to ensure that resources of the state were deployed to fulfil the mandate bestowed on the ANC by millions of people.

“As MEC for Finance, she ensured that the government department­s under the ANC touched the lives of ordinary members of society located throughout the corners of the province. It was during her deployment as the MEC for Finance that this province received clean audit outcomes — a clear indication of the healthy financial position of the ANC government,” he said.

Cronjé, who died at her home in Hilton, about 12 km from Pietermari­tzburg, was at one point the province’s Education MEC.

Mtolo said Cronjé achieved a lot in her role as Education MEC.

“As the first ANC MEC for Education in the province, comrade Ina inherited a highly politicall­y charged administra­tion pitted against militant organised labour, impatient for change.

“In just five years, comrade Ina Cronjé transforme­d the biggest department in the province and in the national education arena into a well-oiled machine, firing on all cylinders.this earned her the nickname ‘Mama Action’. She will always be credited for championin­g the eradicatio­n of mud schools and building schools with a cutting-edge technology.

“During this period, a total of 24 new schools, over six thousand five hundred (6 500) new classrooms and about six thousand (600) flush toilets were built through the fast track project — a first in the history of the Education Department and the country as a whole,” he said. As chairperso­n of the TIKZN board, Mtolo said Cronjé helped direct investment­s into the province.

“She led the agency in a direction of full reduction of red-tape in the developmen­t and official opening of the KZN

One Stop Shop, which was launched by former President Jacob Zuma. At the height of Covid-19, albeit using online platforms, she was still able to direct the agency towards a great contributi­on to the provincial economic recovery plan in support of the Department of Economic Developmen­t,” he said.

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