Mr Choloane David Matsepe (DA)

Sept. 20, 2017 (2 years, 8 months ago)

matsepe

What is your political background? How did you come to join your political party and become an MP? I started political life in 1995 after the first national elections. At the time I was in Sekhukhune, Limpopo. I became a member of the then New National Party (NNP) because in the build-up to the first general elections all royal families were being attacked across South Africa by activists from the current leading political order. The reasoning seemed to be that royal families were props of the apartheid regime. As a member of a royal family, I realised after the elections that I had to be politically active. Following that I was then recruited to the then Democratic Party (DP). In the NNP I served as the provincial secretary from 1995 in Mpumalanga and served in the same capacity at the DP when I was recruited there. When Sekhukhune was demarcated to Limpopo in 1999 I remained provincial secretary of the new Democratic Alliance (DA) and also became a member of the DA's disciplinary committee.

During the 2000 local government I became a councilor for the DA in the Elias Motswaledi Local Municipality. I remained there for 13 years serving in the council committees on public accounts, community services. During that time I also had been seconded to the Sekhukhune District Municipality.

In 2014 I stood both for provincial and national seats of the DA and after the general election decided to come to Parliament. I serve only on the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

What does your job as an MP entail? Mondays and Fridays are constituency days where we do constituency work as Members of Parliament. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are committee meetings days and Thursdays are for caucusing by the various political parties.

What are you finding most challenging about the Fifth Parliament? Developing and understanding the law making process, especially moving from a local government background has been the most difficult process in adapting to the work of Parliament.

What obstacles prevent Parliament from doing its work and how would you fix it? Lack of funding prevents Parliament from allowing enough public participation. For example, the public hearings on the Khoisan traditional leadership Bill in Limpopo were completed over two days and barely covered the province. More funding and timeous advertising of public hearings would enable Parliament to do enough public consultation on particular laws.

Which constituency office have you been assigned to? Can you give examples of constituency work you engaged in? I have been allocated Loskop valley, which includes Ephraim Mogale and Elias Motswaledi local municipalities. Most often my constituents’ challenges relate to burial and visiting rights to family sites that are on farming properties belonging to white farmers. I mostly intervene with farmers to allow those who wish to visit their dead to be allowed that opportunity.

Does Parliament do a good job of holding the Executive to account? If not, what can be done to improve this? Yes because the Fifth Parliament is quite vibrant compared to parliaments that came before it since 1994.

Are you happy with the proportional representation system or are you in favour of electoral reform? I would not support electoral reform as the current system is satisfactory enough for me because even the smallest political party with negligible votes can manage to represent a minority voice.

What are you passionate about? This applies both in a political/professional arena as well as personally? My biggest passion is in ensuring that even the deep rurally situated citizens are represented; especially those under traditional leadership as they are sometimes oppressed by their traditional leaders. Traditional leaders have a tendency of using erfs that is pieces of land under traditional custodianship, to punish citizens under their rule who for one reason or another do not get along with them.

What is your message to South Africans? Civil society is dissatisfied with how the current government is led and the trajectory of the the country is worrying. The current environment is conducive for change and South Africans have an opportunity to elect a political party capable of governing as the DA has shown in the Western Cape. In 2019 South Africans should elect the DA as it has already shown visible changes in the three metropolitans the DA currently leads since the 2016 local government elections.

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