Sisa Njikelana holds a certificate in leadership communication and was educated at Ruskin College, Oxford University in the United Kingdom. He has been a Member of Parliament since 2004 and has served on various committees and task teams. He was elected as Chairperson for the Energy Portfolio Committee in January 2011.
Political background: I joined the ANC underground in 1980 and was mainly involved in trade unions. I went through two treason trials, one in 1982 as well as in 1985-86 (United Democratic Front [UDF] Treason Trial in Pietermaritzburg), and I was detained more than 10 times from 1980 until 1985.
I served as a Councillor for three years in the Eastern Metro Local Council in Greater Johannesburg Metro Council from 1995 to 1998. As a councillor in the former Eastern Metropolitan Local Council, within the Greater Johannesburg Metro Council, I worked intensively in the Alexandra Development Project from late 1995 to 1998. As a member of the Executive Committee I was responsible for Urban Planning and Development.
I am a member of both the ANC and SACP, and I have served as a member of the Gauteng and Johannesburg Interim Leadership Core of the ANC, from June 2000 to November 2001, then from August 2010 to September 2011. I was the Chairperson of the Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka from 2007 to 2012.
What does my job involve? I serve on the Portfolio Committee on Energy as its Chairperson and the NA Rules Committee as well as the Joint Rules Committee as an ordinary member. My duties include interacting with and performing oversight on the Department of Energy, government entities, amending legislation, engaging with faith-based organisations and community members about their problems, and facilitating the establishment of important forums and developments that will assist the ordinary people.
Highlights of my constituency work: I am deployed to Orange Farm as a Member of Parliament. I have been able to participate in talk shows on local radio stations, updating people on parliamentary activities. I have engaged with faith-based organisations and monitored and participated in the Town Square Mall Development Project, which also facilitated the establishment of the Orange Farm Community Development Trust. Other highlights include facilitating the establishment of Greater Orange Farm Business Forum, engaging with Orange Farm Economic Development Forum on business issues, running empowerment workshops for local activists and leaders, assisting principals with career development for learners, and I have assisted in the work of the local unit of the Community Work Programme.
Highlights of Parliament: I have worked with ANC Chief Whip, Mathole Motshekga, to intervene on service delivery protests in 2010. Another highlight was convening the People’s Assembly and Taking Parliament to the People, whereby Parliament was convened in Sedibeng. I am proud to have been involved in the National Consultative Seminar on Climate Change held in 2011. Parliament’s contribution in processing empowering laws for Black Economic Empowerment, rural development, and setting up new departments for rural, youth, women and the disabled has also been a highlight.
I am passionate about the empowerment of local leaders and activists, as well as Local Economic Development, generally and specifically around leadership development, as well as ensuring community participation in development initiatives.
My message is that South Africa has the ability to advance to a better life for all. Together we can do more for the transformation of our society. It is high time that South Africans make better use of their public representatives to ensure they empower themselves. South Africans must make an effort to understand how Parliament works, and how they can use it to improve their lives.
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