Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba, born on August 23, 1981, in Nkande, located just outside eNquthu in northern KwaZulu-Natal, is a man of remarkable achievements and unwavering commitment. His lifelong partner is his childhood sweetheart, Dr Busi Mahlaba neé Ndlovu, and together, they are blessed with two adorable twins.

Dr Mahlaba’s educational journey began at Emdlenevini Lower Primary School, leading to Bhembaskop Intermediate School, and culminating in his matriculation from Vryheid Comprehensive High School. In 2000, he embarked on a path of higher learning, enrolling at the KwaZulu-Natal University School of Medicine to pursue a Bachelor of Medicine degree (MBCHB). It was during this period that he ventured into student politics, motivated by the pressing social issues that affected students, particularly the financial struggles that led to the academic exclusion of many.

In his second year at medical school, Dr Mahlaba was elected as the president of the Students’ Representative Council, serving two terms from 2000 to 2005. His peers admired him for his dedication, principled stance, and selfless leadership. Notable accomplishments during his tenure included temporarily halting the exclusion of deserving students, advocating for increased study funds, and persuading university management to expand student accommodation.

After obtaining his degree in 2005, Dr Mahlaba embarked on a year as a Medical Intern before taking on the role of Medical Officer at Madadeni Regional Hospital in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal. His activism within the African National Congress of Newcastle continued, leading to his appointment as a permanent staff member at the same hospital in 2007. That year, he also assumed the position of a shop steward, championing the rights of workers and challenging unjust labor practices in the healthcare sector.

Despite facing resistance from employers, Dr Mahlaba’s colleagues rallied behind him as he relentlessly fought for improved labor conditions. As public health conditions ameliorated, he founded his own General Practice in 2008 while remaining deeply engaged in politics.

In 2010, he was elected Regional Chairperson of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) in the ANC’s Emalahleni Region, a role he was re-elected to in 2014. His dedication and unwavering commitment to advocating for the disadvantaged community in Newcastle, particularly the previously marginalized, earned him widespread support.

Dr Mahlaba consistently refused public office, emphasizing his dedication to serving without government positions. In 2014, he was elected Chairperson of the ANC’s Emalahleni Region in a closely contested election. He maintained this position through his re-election in May 2018, securing an overwhelming majority. Subsequently, he assumed the role of a PR Councilor at the Newcastle Municipality and was later elected as the municipality’s mayor in March 2019, citing the encouragement and persuasion of his comrades.

In July 2022 Dr Mahlaba was elected as the ANC’s Provincial Treasurer. In August 2022 he was appointed the KZN MEC for Humans Settlements and Public Works because being deployed to his current political post of MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture where he is championing the inclusive development and the grassroot nurturing of sports, arts and culture.

Dr Mahlaba is renowned for his resolute stance against corruption and his unwavering commitment to prioritizing public welfare over personal interests. Even as he personally manages his private practice, he is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in philosophy and applied ethics at the University of Witwatersrand. Dr Mahlaba’s life story is a testament to his passion for making a positive impact in the world.