Get To Know Anna Maria (Marina) Van Zyl

1. How did you come to join your political party and become an MP?

In 2010 I joined the Democratic Alliance upon return from the United Kingdom where I worked for 5 years. I decided that I wanted to be an active citizen and the Democratic Alliance really is the only party that cares for all the citizens of South Africa as described in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

2. What is one goal that you would like to achieve during your time as an MP?

I wish to elevate issues from my allocated constituency to Parliament as an elected representative of the people. I hold this office in very serious light and realise that it is an honour to serve as a Member of Parliament. I will work to hold those in Parliament to account and above all, uphold the Rule of Law.

3. What does your job as an MP entail, and what do you find challenging/demanding?

To fulfil party political duties and represent local voter and community interests, to champion and implement Democratic Alliance policy and to provide political leadership, support and guidance to Councillors and DA members in my allocated Constituency. Coming from a rural part of the Eastern Cape, travelling to and from Cape Town is quite demanding but I love this job so it is an easy one to overcome! Luckily technology has made it very easy to communicate and see, albeit on video, family members on a daily basis!

4. Which constituency office have you been assigned to? Can you give examples of constituency work you engage in?

I have been allocated to the New Horizon Constituency which includes the local municipalities of Senqu and Walter Sisulu. Main towns include Sterkspruit, Barkly East, Maletswai and Burgersdorp. My main aim is to go to those forgotten people and listen to areas that they struggle with on a daily basis and to elevate that by matter of questions in Parliament.

5. How do you think Parliament can drive more public participation in policy, legislation and voting?

I think that due to the rural nature of some of our areas, Parliament is not able to reach all communities effectively. I therefore believe that a better medium should be found in order to do the work of Parliament.

6. What are you passionate about, both professionally and personally?

I am a stickler for fairness, which is one of the values of the Democratic Alliance. I cannot stand when you are treated differently due to circumstances of birth. I believe a more equal playing field should be achieved in South Africa to ensure that we build as a Nation, together for a bright future. On a personal level I love spending time with loved ones and value that as a good balance in this hectic life.

7. Which social justice issues are you most concerned with?

Corruption coupled with the high unemployment rate. This really equates to South Africans being restricted from enjoying their rights as enshrined by the Constitution. Willingly stealing money from the “wallet of South Africans” is an unforgivable deed that will forever prevent South Africans from lifting themselves from poverty where 81% of people who skip meals on a daily basis and 42% go to bed hungry. This should not be the norm, and should not be accepted by South Africans.

8. Does Parliament do a good job of holding the Executive to account? If not, what can be done to improve this?

No, I think the majority party takes the “majority” to a next level and therefore protects their own ranks – at the expense of the residents of South Africa. I am very proud of my party, the Democratic Alliance who will in whatever they do hold the Executive to account. When democracy works, it will benefit all South Africans. Members of Parliament needs to debate, and vote on issues based on the Rule of Law.

9. What are your or your party's aspirations/plans for the remainder of the Sixth Parliament?

To continue holding the Executive to Account and to ensure that the Parliament of South Africa upholds the Rule of Law. We aim to talk for the most vulnerable, those who has lost their voice and speak out for them in Parliament. We cannot sit back and watch how our beautiful country is looted and stripped until there will be nothing left. We will provide the hope South Africans desperately needs.

10. What obstacles prevent Parliament from doing its work and how would you fix it?

Answer: I believe the majority party’s approach to holding the Executive to Account is one of the biggest obstacles in preventing Parliament to do what it is supposed to do. Parliament must make laws and then hold the government to account in the execution of the law. As a party that believes in holding the executive to account, the Democratic Alliance will continue in it’s fight.


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