‘I empower myself through education because leading society requires one to not only be knowledgeable but to contribute effectively through meaningful research,’ said KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala who graduated with a Master of Commerce in Leadership Studies.
His study titled: Exploring the Impact of Rating Agencies on South Africa’s Governance and Fiscal Policies, was supervised by Dr Emmanuel Mutambara.
‘No studies have been conducted in South Africa on this subject and this made the research challenging. The masters was not just about the qualification, but also about contributing to knowledge in the field of commerce in leadership,’ said Zikalala.
The study found that, post-2010, there was increased awareness among South Africans of the existence of rating agencies, the roles they play and the benefits that accrue from their work. It also found that the methods employed by these agencies do not take the socio-economic circumstances and conditions of a particular country into account. It is thus difficult for countries like South Africa to implement their recommendations.
Zikalala who graduated with a Bachelor of Administration Honours degree cum laude in 2017, believes that as a politician and leader it is his responsibility to not preach about the importance of education but to lead by example. ‘We can’t say that people must go study while we don’t study. I feel that it is important for me to continuously develop myself and to make effective contributions to the development of the country,’ he said.
Words: Thandi Jumo
Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan