Tshoganetso Tongwane (ANC)

23 Jan 2018 (3 years, 9 months ago)

mpho

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

I was brought up by a politically active grandmother and also spent time in the company of the Makoke family. Mr Makoke was an agent of the ANC movement that assisted comrades going for military training under uMkhonto weSizwe in the early 1980’s. The Makokes resided in Gamothlaru, Kuruman in the Northern Cap. As I matured I joined the Kudumane People’s Concerned Committee (KPCC) under the banner of the United Democratic Front (UDF) led by Mr Makoke, Peter Monare and the late Gibson Pikinini. The KPCC was an underground structure of the ANC and my involvement in the KPCC lasted until just after the unbanning of the ANC where I became the branch chairperson and secretary of the Bathlaru branch. Before provinces were demarcated I became and remained a regional additional executive member of the ANCWL in the Northern Cape region. I was deployed to Parliament in 2008 before the 2009 national general elections.

What does your job as an MP entail?

After the 2009 elections I served in the portfolio committees of Home Affairs and Human Settlements. In 2014 I was deployed to the committees of Labor and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries where I remained serving.

On Tuesday mornings I attend the agriculture portfolio committee meetings and on Wednesdays I attend the labor committee meetings. Both Tuesdays and Wednesdays afternoons and even Thursday afternoons are plenary sitting days. Thursday morning is caucus mornings and rthere are Fridays where one of my committees sits

What are you finding most challenging about the Fifth Parliament? What obstacles prevent Parliament from doing its work and how would you fix it?

The Fifth Parliament is livelier as evident in the Chamber and the robustness of debates in the House is part of democracy. It is certainly an eye opener for the public about what happens and what is supposed to be happening at the national legislature.

There is progress in law making but certainly there are those times where we do not meet our deadlines because of matters beyond our control, but we always ensure that the work is done even if late.

Which constituency office have you been assigned to? Can you give examples of constituency work you engaged in?

My constituency office is at Gamagara Local Municipality and we managed to get a house, wheelchair and social assistance for an elder in our community who moves about with the palms of his hands as he has no feet. On Mondays, I am at my constituency dealing with issues mostly related to unfair labor practices.

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

Yes I am satisfied that we do adequate work in that regard as we have not had to postpone any planned engagement with the Executive when we call them as Parliament.

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

The system is adequate for now as change would also need education about reform.

Is Parliament’s public participation model adequate/ robust enough that it affords enough public participation before a law is passed?

I feel that our communities are given short notice sometimes when we take public hearings on policies and bills to the people. That can be improved with simplification of the content of bills so that communities can participate fully in law making.

What are you passionate about? This applies both in a political/professional arena as well as personally?

I am a God fearing woman and sometimes I preach at our local radio station. I also appreciate the time before and during provincial elective conferences as you get to meet other comrades and discuss policy positions which affect our people directly.

What is your message to South Africa?

As a country we have to remember where we come from and we have to be united as a country as we all want a better life for all. To the youth I want to say that education is very important to get a key to freedom as an individual.

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