What is your political background? How did you come to join your political party and become an MP? I am a paid up member of the ANC in good standing - a public representative since 1998 to 1999 as a Member of the Provincial Legislature (MPL) in the Northern Cape and from 2000 to 2009. I joined the ANC in 2004. In the legislature I served as chairperson of the Safety and Liaison (2004-2009) and Constitutional Affairs (2004-2005) portfolio committees. Since 2009 I have been an MP in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) serving as chairperson of the Select Committee on Finance; acting chairperson of Appropriations Committee; and since May 2017, the chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee on North West Intervention. To become an ANC candidate branches nominated me and the ANC deployed me. From 1998 to 2004 I was a National Party MPL.
What does your job as an MP entail? I am a legislator, i.e. making laws through the parliamentary process. I represent the people of South Africa in Parliament. I am chairing the committees as indicated above in the NCOP - holding the executive and the three spheres of government accountable.
What are you finding most challenging about the Fifth Parliament? The changes in the parliamentary programme that impact on our committee work.
Which constituency office have you been assigned to? Give examples of constituency work you engage in. I am deployed to the Kamiesberg municipal area with constituency office in Garies which is a very rural area. My constituency work include meeting with constituents on an appointment arrangement in my PCO but also doing house visits , door to door. Some of the work includes:
Visiting the 15 schools in my deployment three times a year
Visiting the police stations, clinics and hospital at least twice per quarter
Visit each of my 15 towns once per quarter to meet the people
Meetings with stakeholders in agriculture, fishing communities, educators, outreach programmes, etc.
Does Parliament do a good job of holding the Executive to account? If not, what can be done to improve this? Parliament is doing its best to hold the Executive to account but can do better. Enough time is needed to conduct committee meetings to do thorough work. The NCOP have its flagship programme: Taking Parliament to the People which has improved since 2014. Follow-ups are crucial in doing oversight and monitoring what actually was delivered to the people. The people come first.
Are you happy with the proportional representation system or are you in favour of electoral reform? The PR system allows smaller parties to be represented in Parliament, but accountability of MPs and MPLs can be improved.
Is Parliament’s public participation model adequate or robust enough that it affords enough public participation before a law is passed? The NCOP increased its committee oversight weeks, which allows for robust oversight but also public participation. Public participation is crucial in lawmaking. Committee meetings are also open to the public and we must make the public more aware of it.
What are you passionate about? This applies both in a political/professional arena as well as personally. To make a positive difference in people's lives through the work I do: to make things happen; to listen; to think and act; to enhance good governance, sound financial management and accountability; and to enhance ethical leadership. I am passionate about being an activist fighting corruption and being an activist that stand up for what is right. Personally, I am passionate about my wife, children and grandchildren.
What is your message to South Africa? South Africa belongs to all who live in it. Let's all be builders of a better country, respect each other and to be more caring about my fellow South Africans in understanding their circumstances. Assist the poor and vulnerable in the community where we live; root out racism and corruption and stand up for that what is right as enshrined in the Constitution. Let's follow the example of President Mandela. South Africa is a great country with great people. Let's make it greater.
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