Ms Girly Nobanda (ANC)

girly nobanda

What is your political background? How did you come to join your political party and become an MP? I had always been politically inclined in that I attended ANC community meetings. I was then officially recruited by Mr Leslie Plaatjies in 1997. At the time I was attending Barolong Secondary School close to Montshiwa, Mahikeng in the North West. We had a relative that had disappeared during those days and we were not allowed to inquire about the circumstances of his disappearance. The meetings of the ANC gave me hope that I could track my uncle down after becoming an official card carrying member.

During my stay in Mamelodi in Pretoria where I had enrolled for a nursing qualification, there were school mates that used to invite me to attend similar ANC meetings in Gezina. Eventually I attended one meeting and from then on became a member of that branch. After a year in Pretoria I had to return home as the school I had been attending had been found to not have been registered with the education department.

Having no prospects I went to the Ngaka Modiri Molema regional ANC office and through enquiry found myself working at the office, as a volunteer. From the ANCYL I was elected into the sub-regional structure of the ANC as secretary. I also became a branch secretary of the ANC and secretary to the ANCWL for four terms in total. I was also a chairperson of the ANCWL in the same sub-region. Apart from those roles I had also worked in the Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality deployed to the Chief Whip’s office. From there I was moved to the North West Legislature in the office of the Speaker and I was deployed to Parliament in 2014.

What does your job as an MP entail? On Mondays I am either at my constituency or busy with the work of the Regional Task Team (RTT); officiating branch business or overseeing preparations for the regional conference. On Tuesdays I attend the Portfolio Committee on Energy and Wednesdays I am at Public Enterprises. On Thursdays when there is no caucus there are usually study groups for the public enterprises portfolio.

What are you finding most challenging about the Fifth Parliament? The procedures and processes of law making since from the outside lawmaking seem like a step-by-step simple programme when in fact it takes time and compromise to finalise a bill.

What obstacles prevent Parliament from doing its work and how would you fix it? Because political parties have different agendas, it takes time for all of us to find each other on matter of common interests especially in the National Assembly chamber. At committee level it is much better as the common goal is better understood.

Which constituency office have you been assigned to? Can you give examples of constituency work you engaged in? I have two: Delareyville and the other is in Vryburg; both in the North West. Because they are both rural farming communities, most grievances relate to farmers mistreating their laborers by illegally dismissing them. Others are not even aware sometimes that they qualify for social grants and we have to do outreach to inform said communities about what government benefits they have. In Delareyville we had recently found a structure which was in disrepair and hazardous to children who were attending crèche there. We managed to get some support from a local businessman to repair the roof of the structure and we are finishing up the refurbishments.

Does Parliament do a good job of holding the Executive to account? If not, what can be done to improve this? I am satisfied with how we are doing so far, since there are alternative channels for Members to follow if one is not satisfied by a response from a particular minister.

Are you happy with the proportional representation system or are you in favour of electoral reform? At local government possibly we may need to overhaul the system, because having a list of councillors and then a separate one for proportional representation makes no sense. After elections I would prefer a different formula to allocation of council seats as the current formula affects big parties negatively.

Is Parliament’s public participation model adequate/ robust enough that it affords enough public participation before a law is passed? There is room for improvement as the current model attempts to accommodate everyone but never accomplishes the task fully.

What are you passionate about? This applies both in a political/professional arena as well as personally? Being useful to others. My initial experience regarding law making was frustrating because I was not at the coal face where tangible results could be seen after assisting an individual.

What is your message to South Africa? In terms of our current programmes as the governing party, I concede that there are many things we can do better. Though I understand the frustrations of citizens, destroying infrastructure that is already there pains me because instead of going forward as government we have to rebuild the same infrastructure instead of providing something of a different utility and purpose. We need to find alternative ways as South Africans to express our discontent. South Africans have to vote for the ANC so that we continue with the work to better the lives of South Africans and do better where we have been lacking.

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