Ms Siviwe Gwarube (DA)

Oct. 9, 2019 (1 month, 1 week ago)

Parliament should also ensure that the issues which concern South Africans are the matters that are being dealt with.

What is your political background? How did you come to join your political party and become an MP?

I began my career in politics as a professional staff member working in communications. I worked with the then leader of the opposition in parliament, Ms Lindiwe Mazibuko back in 2012. I then moved on to work for the Western Cape government as a spokesperson and the Head of Ministry for the Department of Health in the province. In the lead up to and during the 2019 elections, I was the Executive Director of Communications for the DA before seeking public office and being elected.

What does your job as an MP entail? What do you enjoy about being an MP?

The role of an MP is multi-faceted: you contend with legislation, you hold the executive to account on behalf of the people of South Africa, you drive issues relating to the portfolio that you have been allocated, you conduct oversight visits to health facilities across the country and you work in your constituency to effectively deliver to the people in our communities. I enjoy the various parts of this role as they are designed to improve the lives of the people that we are meant to serve.

What are your or your party's aspirations/plans for the Sixth Parliament? The single most critical issue in this 6th Parliament is how we deal with the unemployment crisis that has seen over 10 million South Africans without gainful employment, and close to 50% of young people without a job. This is urgent and requires the attention of this Parliament.

What obstacles prevent Parliament from doing its work and how would you fix it? Parliament must assert its role as the legislative arm of the country. We need to take our role of holding the executive to account, in spite of party political lines. Once Parliament takes its role seriously, the country will be better for it.

Which Constituency Office have you been assigned to? Can you give examples of Constituency work you engaged in?

I have been allocated the DA Students Organization (DASO) across the Western Cape. The key issue on campuses for young people at the moment is certainly safety on campuses and in their communities.

Does Parliament do a good job of holding the Executive to account? If not, what can be done to improve this?

As stated above, I believe that not enough is being done to allow Parliament to assert its role. The country is poorer, as a result. It is only through effective executive accountability that we can really change the lives of the people who have elected us to office.

Are you happy with the proportional representation system or are you in favor of electoral reform?

There are advantages to the PR system which allows for representation of smaller political parties. However, electoral reform could allow for greater accountability of public representatives. This could allow people to be able to remove and replace non-performing public representatives.

What can be done to get citizens more interested/ involved in Parliament? Is this an area where Parliament can improve and if so, what recommendations do you have? What are you passionate about? This applies both in political/ professional arena as well as personally?

Parliament should become the centre of public debate where only the best ideas are passed as legislation and policy proposals. Parliament should also ensure that the issues which concern South Africans are the matters that are being dealt with. The work of parliament should be closely linked to communities in order to make it easier for people to be involved in the work that is being done by their public representatives. I am deeply passionate about access to reproductive health for rural women and also access to opportunities for young women and girls in our country

What is your message to South Africa? My message to South Africans is that: Parliament is yours. You need to utilize it to hold your government to account and to hold those you have elected to account. Citizens must demand that the issues that parliament concerns itself with, are the issues that South Africans are facing.

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