What is your political background? How did you come to join your political party and become an MP? Politics were introduced to me through my father who was politically active during the apartheid era. As a young teacher my involvement and activism was further deepened when I joined the National Education Union of South Africa (NEUSA) in 1979. I continued participating in the activities of NEUSA right up until the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) was formed. After the formation of SADTU I served as a gender desk convener in Mpumalanga under SADTU. I joined the ANC and ANCWL simultaneously in 1992 where I have served from branch level op to the provincial executive committee (PEC) in the ANCWL to date. I have also served in the Thaba Chweu municipal council as an ANC ward councillor in 2009 through which I was elected to be deputy chairperson of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) in the same period. I was deployed to Parliament as a replacement for our dearly departed Mr Sibusiso Radebe (ANC).
What does your job as an MP entail? On Mondays I am at my constituency where I am still familiarising myself with current challenges and legacy projects seeing that it is also quite a rural constituency. On Tuesday mornings I attend the Portfolio Committee On Higher Education And Training so that Wednesdays mornings I juggle and prioritise as per the agenda work of the same committee with that of the committee on Sport and Recreation. In the afternoons on both days I attend the plenary session and the political party caucus on Thursday mornings.
What are you finding most challenging about the Fifth Parliament? So far I have been appalled by the disrespect exhibited by members against each other in plenary.
What obstacles prevent Parliament from doing its work and how would you fix it? Developing and strengthening the rules to procedures.
Which constituency office have you been assigned to? Can you give examples of constituency work you engaged in? My constituency is Elukwatini and we are currently busy with the election campaign amongst the issues that the rural community brings to the office.
Does Parliament do a good job of holding the Executive to account? If not, what can be done to improve this? Yes I am quite satisfied with the pace and progress of the work we have done so far since my arrival.
Are you happy with the proportional representation system or are you in favour of electoral reform? I would prefer electoral reform as the formula of awarding proportional representation sometimes works against ward vote numbers.
Is Parliament’s public participation model adequate/ robust enough that it affords enough public participation before a law is passed? So far I think it is adequate as it is in line with the Constitution and reasonable allocation of resources.
What is your message to South Africa? Strengthen democracy by going to polling stations and cast your votes on 8 May 2019.
To learn more about this Member, visit her profile.
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