(Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s ruling party has nominated Nomusa Dube-Ncube as premier of KwaZulu-Natal, the first woman to occupy the top job in the provincial government.

Dube-Ncube was nominated after interviews with her and two other women over the weekend, Bhekinkosi Mtolo, the African National Congress’s provincial secretary in KwaZulu-Natal, told reporters in a televised briefing on Monday. Once the region’s legislature, where the ANC has more than 50% of the seats, officially elects her, three of the country’s nine provinces will have a female as premier. 

“We are way, way behind” in getting women into leadership positions, Nomagugu Simelane, deputy chairwoman of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal and member of the executive council for health in the province, said at the briefing. “As the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal we needed to make sure at some point that female leaders are given the opportunity to lead.”

Dube-Ncube has been part of the province’s executive government since 2009 and most recently as finance head. She will replace Sihle Zikalala, who resigned as premier last week after losing a contest in July to lead the governing ANC in the region.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.