Alexandra Lilian Amelia Abrahams

July 8, 2020 (3 months, 2 weeks ago)

"I choose to believe there is more good than bad in South Africa, and if everyone chooses to run away, who will be left to stay and fight for what’s right and just."

Abrahams

1. How did you come to join your political party and become an MP?

I am a member of the Democratic Alliance (DA) since 2009. I hold an Honours degree in Political Science from Stellenbosch University which I completed in 2008, and an undergraduate degree in International Relations.

Like any other young person, after completion of my studies I was eager to contribute positively to society. I had a few interviews but was still unsure as to what I wanted to do. One interview was with the DA as they were looking to hire an assistant to the Western Cape Election Campaign Manager of 2009.

This was the same campaign team which saw the DA win the Western Cape for the very first time. I was very excited to be part of that team and that was the start of my ambition to be a permanent member of the DA.

I was then employed as a staff member until November 2011 after which I was employed in the Ministry for Social Development, Western Cape Government until May 2019.

I am still as excited to contribute positively to society as I was when I completed my studies and after much thought and consideration, I decided to apply to become a Member of Parliament and put the 10 years of experience to greater use. I went through the rigorous interview and selection process and together with an amazing DA team worked hard during the National Election Campaign of 2019 which is the reason I am here today.

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

I serve on the portfolio committee for Social Development. We play an oversight role on all matters relating to the portfolio. We ensure that the Minister, the Department for Social Development together with its two entities: SASSA and the National Development Agency; are held to account.

As Members of Parliament, we are the voice for our constituents as we bring important matters to the attention of the house and the public in fulfilling our constitutional functions of passing laws and overseeing executive action.

Parliament is a space for robust dialogue between individuals with various opinions and views. I enjoy being able to have a voice and raising issues relating to Social Development on a national platform on behalf of our constituents who do not have the same platform to do so. The Democratic Alliance is the official opposition, the most inclusive party with the most positive history of service delivery to the people. I enjoy contributing towards that. As I am a new Member in this Sixth Parliament, I enjoy the opportunity to learn and to use the experience to better serve our people.

3. Which Constituency Office have you been assigned to? Can you give examples of Constituency Work you engage in?

I have been assigned to a constituency called Tygerberg 1 within the City of Cape Town. It includes the following wards: 25 (Connaught - Cravenby - Eureka Estate - Florida – Ravensmead – Uitsig) 26; (Beaconvale - Elsies River Industrial – Leonsdale – Parow – Riverton – Parow Valley – Richmond; Glenlily); 27( Glenwood – Goodwood – Tygerdal – Townsend Estate) ;28 (Avonwood – Adriaanse – Balvenie – Clarkes Estate – Part of Elsies River); 30 (part of Bishop Lavis; part of Valhalla Drive Klaksteenfontein; Matroosfontein – Ruyterwacht ; 50 (Bonteheuwel).

Our constituency is very active in the community. Some of the areas are extremely poor. There are many back-yard dwellers; high unemployment; gang activity; substance abuse, etc. The team which includes ward and PR councilors are constantly engaged in clean-up campaigns, walking bus initiatives, holiday programmes for the youth, report-back meetings with residents, information tables, youth development, old age home visits, gender-based violence campaigns, and above all service delivery issues.

4. 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?

Each citizen should have a personal interest in Parliament as it is the establishment which governs our country, makes laws which South Africans must abide by. Citizens should get involved as all the decisions made in Parliament directly affects them and their loved ones. Parliament is very accessible to the public. It broadcasts on the parliamentary channels and I’ve seen many a school tour on the precinct. You cannot force citizens to be interested, but I believe the ones who are, make use of the avenues available to them.

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

I am passionate about South Africa. We have the potential of being a great nation if governed adequately. I a m passionate about our people. We have to do better as a society to improve the lives of our people. I want to see real democracy in action. When an opposition party wins a National Election and the ruling party hands over power with acceptance and without conflict. That would be a moment when South Africa can honestly say it’s a Democratic State.

Personally, I love hiking and running which since taking up this new role I’ve neglected, but hoping to get back the healthy balance soon.

6. What is your message to South Africa?

Wow…Don’t give up! And to quote the Springboks “Stronger Together”. That would be my message. We see a lot of negativity and bad things lately. Some South Africans chose and still choose to emigrate because they’ve lost hope and faith. I choose to believe there is more good than bad in South Africa, and if everyone chooses to run away, who will be left to stay and fight for what’s right and just. As a Democratic Alliance MP, the citizens’ support and hope that we can achieve One South Africa for All, is what keeps me fighting. Thank you.

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