What is your political background? How did you become involved in politics and in particular, what drew you to your specific party? I joined the African National Congress (ANC) through the United Democratic Front (UDF) in 1983. At the time I was involved in the National Education Coordinating Committee (NECC) where I worked with Ihron Rensburg, because I was also a qualified teacher. My first arrest came in 1985 as a result of the political activities of the UDF at the time.
I was the first regional chairperson of the re-demarcated Schweizer Reneke region in 1987 to 1988. In 1989 I became the district chairperson of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and from 1993 to 1994 I was secretary of the then National Education Union of South Africa (NEUSA) before the establishment of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU).
In 2006 I got employed as the Director of Community Services by the Mamusa Local Municipality and from 2012 to 2014 I served as Deputy Provincial Chairperson of the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO). In 2014 I was deployed by the ANC as a permanent delegate of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
What does your job as an MP entail? In committees there is robust and innovative exchange of ideas where members of committees are the intellectual capital behind policy proposals and the processing of laws. Constituency work is on Mondays and during the weekends but we are mostly busy with committees from Tuesdays to Fridays.
What has been your impression on the Fifth Parliament so far? Debates are read out as speeches in the NCOP and this does not encourage the same amount of exchange of ideas as during committee proceedings.
What constituency have you been assigned to by your party? What constituency work have you been involved with or how have you helped members of the public so far? My constituency offices are in Bloemhof. As part of our outreach projects I have been involved in ensuring that 15 individuals that had sought our help in accessing social grants eventually received those. I also have a programme called Bua Lemo Palamente where the community gets to engage with me directly about their issues and I report on our work in Parliament as well. I am constantly engaging church leaders and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) in my constituency on what can be done to better the lives of our people and to bring about social upliftment.
What are you most passionate about? Both politically and personally. My biggest passions are my work, my family and the ANC.
What would your message to South Africans be? Even though we won 7 out of 8 wards in my constituency in the 2016 Local Government Elections I want to remind South Africans that the ANC is the only political party that has been providing quality services to our people since the dawn of liberation. South Africans must vote for the ANC in 2019 – there is no other party with such a rich struggle history and a proven record of providing quality services.
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