Zwelini Mkhize is currently serving as the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. Hewas born in Willowfontein, Pietermaritzburg on the 2nd of February in 1956. At the age of 26, he completed his degree in medicine at the University of Natal. By 1983 his internship at the McCord Hospital was completed and he ended up gaining employment at Edendale Hospital in his hometown of Pietermaritzburg in the following year. Due to the Apartheid movement, he was forced into exile in Swaziland, eventually settling in Zimbabwe.
Upon his return to South Africa in 1991, Mkhize began serving the ANC as a member of its national health secretariat- the structure that was tasked with the responsibility of developing the country’s health policy. At the start of the democratic dispensation, Mkhize was appointed as the MEC for health in 1994- a position he held for a decade. He was the longest serving provincial health MEC in the country. In 2004, he was appointed the MEC for Finance and Economic Development in KwaZulu Natal. At the same time he was also the chairperson of the ANC’s National Education and Health subcommittee.
He was designated on 30 April 2009 as the ANC candidate for Premier of KwaZulu-Natal and was elected to that position by the provincial legislature on 6 May. He was elected ANC chairperson in KwaZulu Natal in 2008 and was reelected in 2012. He served as the chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal since 2009 until 2017.
Zweli Mkhize was elected Treasurer General of the African National Congress at the 53rd National conference in December 2012 and he was succeeded by Paul Mashatile at the 54th conference.