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Press release: Statement on the passing of Board Chair Ms Ina Cronjé

2023-10-24 12:38:47

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Ms Ina Cronjé, Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal’s Board Chair, who died on Tuesday, 24 October 2023 due to illness. Ms Cronjé died at her home in Hilton, surrounded by family.

Speaking on behalf of the rest of the Board, Khanyisani Shandu said; “Our sincere condolences go to her family and friends, as well as TIKZN staff members and her acquaintances for this great loss. It was an honour to work with a stalwart such as Ms Cronjé, who was a disciplined and highly knowledgeable professional.”

Sihle Ngcamu, TIKZN Acting CEO described Cronjé as an exemplary leader and forthright person, who was passionate about improving the socio-economic conditions of the disadvantaged. “Ms Cronjé has been Chair of the TIKZN Board since 2014. She was uncompromising in her expectations of us promoting investment and facilitating trade in a manner that does not merely benefit business, but that which is in the best interest of the people of KwaZulu-Natal,” said Ngcamu.

Ms Cronjé tendered her resignation as Bord Chair to the shareholder, the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs on 17 October 2023, due to worsening health. 

Prior to that and despite not feeling well, Ms Cronjé had continued to be actively involved in the governance of TIKZN, communicating with fellow Board members and Executive Management when the need arose. She continued discharging her duties with the same commitment that had become synonymous with her name over almost six decades of working in service to the public. 

Cronjé was a doyenne of public service having started her career as a teacher in the 1960s in Gauteng. She dabbled in journalism, before moving to KwaZulu-Natal in 1968 to resume teaching, in Amanzimtoti and Pietermaritzburg. She furthered her studies in education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal where, 50 years later, she would obtain a Master of Laws Degree.

She practiced law until the dawn of democracy called her to political office. Cronjé was the founding member of the first ANC branch in Pietermaritzburg Central after the ANC was unbanned. Among the many political offices she occupied were those of MEC for Education and then Finance before retiring from politics to join the Board of Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal as Chair in 2014.

She will be remembered for her passion for people, which informed her politics and drove her advocacy.

All arrangements will be communicated in due course.

Our deepest sympathies go to her loved ones at this time of grief and may her soul rest in eternal peace.



Manqoba Mbatha, General Manager: Marketing and Communications. 079 887 1227

Nosipho Mngoma, Communications Specialist. 072 541 8282

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