The premier’s resignation follows his defeat at the ANC KZN 9th provincial conference in July, which saw him lose the party’s provincial chairperson position to Siboniso Duma.
During the briefing, Zikalala said he had accepted that the new ANC leadership may take a different direction, hence his decision to resign.
“Once a cadre becomes a centre of any matter that does not take forward the execution of the revolution, that member ought to undertake a conscious self-assessment on whether he or she still assists the organisation to implement its program.
“Informed by this and having undertaken due consultation, I have [decided] to resign the position of premier of the KwaZulu-Natal province.
“I have taken this decision consciously and expeditiously so that there is no doubt about the strategic direction that movement and government should be taking going forward,” the premier said.
Zikalala pointed out that he took a decision to step down as premier without any pressure.
“I have taken the decision to resign not because I’m pushed by the new leadership but simple because of the narrative peddled against me.
“It has been my revolutionary teaching that a revolutionary duty is served not by allowing personal desires but by serving the organisation and the masses it is leading.
“I’m happy that I depart the government with no cloud of any allegation. And I hope as cadres we will preserve clean government which focus on the emancipation of the people,” he later said in the briefing.
Zikalala said he believes that he leaves the KZN government in a better position than it was in 2019.
“When we started this term, only two departments had attained clean audits. Today we as we depart the premier’s office has attained its first clean audit in history. In addition, six other departments received cleans audits.
“We have equally improved overall financial performance of departments. This is a record number of clean audits to be achieved by provincial departments,” he said.
He also lauded the provincial government’s efforts in its fight against corruption.
“Notwithstanding the bureaucracy that exist within state institutions, we have laid a firm foundation to fight and eliminate corruption. We acted swiftly against reports of corruption even at the Premier’s Office hence a number of suspended officials and ongoing criminal cases.”
Zikalala further criticised those who accused the ANC KZN leadership of betraying former president Jacob Zuma.
Zuma is currently out on medical parole after he was jailed for being in contempt of a court order last year.
“I wish to make it clear that I have supported President Zuma from 14 June 2005 until today. I supported him as a leader and someone who sacrificed his life for South Africa to be liberated.
“My support has never been personal but always organisational. At no point have I ever tried to get position through being associated with him. Equally I have never badmouthed others because they did not support him,” he said.
“This deceptive narrative further accuse myself in particular by suggesting that I have aligned myself with President Ramaphosa.
“It is the tradition of the ANC that dictate that members must always accept and work with the elected leadership whether they have supported the elections of that leadership or not,” Zikalala added.