What is your political background? I come from a political background and was influenced by elders like Mr Kati and Mr Xobololo who are both recognised stalwarts of the ANC in my region. At the inception of the June 16 uprising in 1976 my elder siblings who were involved in the struggle had a lot of influence in igniting the political fire within me. I was an athlete in primary school during the time that I recall leaving an interstate games tournament I was a participant in because I felt it was not fair that I was busy with sports whilst the social ills were so dire. As a working adult in the postal services, my political activism grew and I was even arrested once for organising postal services employees under the banner of Transkei Post Office Workers Association (TRAPOWA) because all of that work was underground. At some point, after the unbanning of the ANC I served in the regional structure of the ANC in the Eastern Cape and the provincial structure of the SACP. I was also a founding member of the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) in Mthatha, Eastern Cape.
What does your job as an MP entail? I have been a Member of Parliament since 1997 where I have been deployed to the committees on Public Works, Human Settlements, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and Tourism. I have been a member of both houses and was deployed for a decade in the National Council of Provinces from 1999-2009 as a provincial whip of the ANC. From 2009 I returned to the National Assembly where I chaired the Multi-Party Women’s Caucus. During that term I also participated in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum. In the Fifth Parliament I chair the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation.
Currently when not in committee, I sit in the Management Committee (MANCO) of the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation meetings preparing for the work of the committee which includes also hosting presidents and board chairpersons of all the entities, federations and other bodies within the sports and recreation sector. Outside of that work, I am a member of both the ANC and ANCWL National Executive Committee (NEC). I also serve in the organising and election subcommittees of the ANC respectively.
What constituency area have you been assigned to you by your party? What is most interesting about your constituency work so far? Originally, since the beginning of the Fifth Farliament I was deployed to the Ashton and Worcester constituencies of the Cape Winelands however; since late 2015 the ANC redeployed me back to Mthatha regional office under the OR Tambo district in the Eastern Cape.
I engage rural women on their struggles as women because during my tenure as the chairperson of the Multi-Party Women’s Caucus, I and the leadership of the ANC in the Eastern Cape managed to address the challenge of "ukuthwala” (forced marriage of young girls) where at one point we managed to return young girls that had been taken from Flagstaff.
What are you most passionate about - this applies both in a political/professional arena as well as personally? Though I am new to that regional office what I have already gotten involved in is mediating and being the bridge between the youth and traditional leaders in the region as this has been a consistently thorny issue where politics intersect with traditional authority.
What would your message to South Africa be? Registering to vote is very important. Tap water and electrification have been delivered to a great many South African rural homes. It is also true that a lot remains to be done but as the governing party we have a proven record of bringing relief and progress to many communities and South Africans therefore should again vote for the ANC to further its work in bringing a better life to all.
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