What is your political background? I always had a love for politics, especially when I was in secondary school where I was involved in debates, following parliamentary discussions through television, reading newspapers and following the news through the radio. I think that is how my interest started. I became even more involved in politics when I went to Mahlangu Technical College where I was a mechanical engineering student. I was elected as the secretary of the South African Students Congress (SASCO) and then later became the Student Representative Council (SRC) President for two consecutive years. There was a lot of that needed to be attended to in terms of the rights of students. I then joined the ANC Youth League (ANCYL), the ANC and the South African Communist Party (SACP) and occupied a number of positions in those particular structures. I was the Deputy Chairperson of the ANCYL in the Kangala region. I was also the Provincial Task Team (PTT) convener in Mpumalanga.
I served as a branch secretary of the ANC and currently I am a member of the regional executive committee of the ANC in the Kangala region. In 2006 and up until 2011, I was deployed by the ANC to become a councillor in Dr Jeff Moroka Municipality. From 2011 to 2016, I served as the Speaker of the municipality and in 2016, I became the Mayor. In September 2017, the ANC took a resolution to deploy me as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the National Assembly.
What does your job as an MP entail? Our job as MPs firstly, is law making and secondly, we are responsible for playing oversight over the Executive by making sure the President, Deputy President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers are doing their work and implementing the resolutions of Parliament. We also do oversight by going to projects to make sure that the work of the Executive was being done and implemented at grassroots level. I am serving in the portfolio committees on Justice and Correctional Services, Defence and Military Veterans and the Joint Standing Committee on Defence which comprises of the Members of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
Do you think Parliament is playing an effective role in holding the Executive to Account? Yes. Ministers and the President have been questioned by Members and in committees, Members sometimes sit for 3 to 5 hours questioning the Executive.
What has been your impression of the Fifth Parliament so far? Even though I am a new Member, I think there is more vibrancy in the Fifth Parliament. Members are participating and asking difficult questions. Some Members, however, behave in a manner that is totally unparliamentarily by throwing insults in the House and using derogatory language and others staging walk-outs. But it has been good for our democracy in terms of being vocal and raising robust debates. The Fifth Parliament is also popular as people at home always want to watch Parliament to see the debates and discussions.
What are you passionate about? This applies both in a political/professional and personal arena? I am fascinated by development and I want to see people from rural areas being developed since I come from a rural area. These people should be getting the necessary service delivery that people from urban areas are getting. I am not that active in sport but I was an athlete when I was growing up and this was about keeping my body healthy. I am more interested in the issues of arts and culture. I like singing and participating in drama and debates.
What is your message to South Africans? We need the support of South Africans at all time and we expect them to come and participate when we have public hearings and give input as it is impossible to make laws without their input. We need them to be active in order to assist us and bring their views forward and this is a kind of support that we need to represent them.
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