Inkosi Russel Cebekhulu (IFP)


What is your political background and what attracted you to your political party?

I joined the IFP in 1978 when I was still in school. I was mainly influenced by my father. who at the time was working with the IFP. He instilled the IFP philosophy and what the party stood for. By the time I joined the party I was already aware of what it represents and what it aims to achieve.

What does your job as an MP entail?

My job mostly involves sitting in committee meetings to deliberate on legislation and matters brought before the committee by government departments and other relevant stakeholders. My job also involves oversight over a government department and to be present at the constituency office to account for the issues that people are facing, and taking them forward to Parliament and to the party, to come up with solutions. Politics and traditional leadership both deal with public administration and basically serving people and dealing with public needs.

What is your impression on the Fifth Parliament so far?

I joined the Fourth Parliament in 2009 and there have been significant changes since. There has been a lot of chaos, and the energy as a whole is far different. The way members conduct themselves has changed. Previously even when members had different views on certain issues they would still conduct themselves in a respectful and professional manner. Today, what we see happening in Parliament, reflects public unrest and uneasiness even within the majority party.

Which constituency office have you been assigned to by your party and what has been most interesting about constituency work?

I had been assigned to the Nthabalala area which had been disestablished and was divided into three local constituency offices. I thereafter served in the uMhlathuze Local Municipality Constituency office. I currently serve the IFP Constituency Office in Empangeni.

People all over the municipality need assistance on agricultural activities, and this is something that has been of interest to me. So basically, agricultural development in rural areas is where my prominent interest lies, and it is something that I have been exposed to since a young boy growing up in the rural area in KwaZulu-Natal.

What is your message to South Africa?

The biggest challenge is food shortages in the country. Our agricultural interventions need to be robust and address the significant challenges. Government needs to provide proper support to people so they can sustain themselves and possibly curb unemployment.

Some areas lack access to water and proper road infrastructure. Providing the rural population with agricultural equipment and materials in order to contribute towards curbing poverty and food shortage in the country is another way government can address these challenges and the fight against poverty and unemployment.


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