What is your political background? How did you come to join your political party and become an MP?
My activism started when I was a learner at Dennilton in 1995 where only the ANC seemed to be concerned with the abject poverty we grew up in. It flourished when I reached tertiary at the University of Limpopo as I participated in student structures such as the South African Students Congress (SASCO). Within that period I led the Students Representative Council (SRC) from 2001-2002. Post university, I also became the first branch chairperson of the ANCYL in Dennilton from 2003-2004. I was then elected to the regional structure of the ANCYL which was called Nkangala region at the time and thereafter into the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) of the Mpumalanga ANCYL.
In 2005 when I left employ with Legal Aid SA where I was employed as a senior legal advisor in the Department of Local Government and Housing in Mpumalanga. From 2012-2014 I was advisor to the Premier of Mpumalanga whereafter I was deployed to Parliament.
What does your job as an MP entail?
I am deployed to the Committees of Defence and Military Veterans, the Joint Standing Committee on Defence and the Justice and Correctional Services portfolios respectively. At committee level we oversee departmental performance in terms of their predetermined objectives versus their budget allocation and expenditure. We also review historical legislation relating to departmental mandates.
What are you finding most challenging about the Fifth Parliament? Being a Member of Parliament is a sacrifice that one makes for the benefit of the party and the people of South Africa at large. Worrying are the disruptions during National Assembly plenary sessions by the EFF which I feel are not about taking the country forward, but rather about the gains the ruling party has achieved.
Which constituency office have you been assigned to? Can you give examples of constituency work you engaged in?
I am assigned the eMakhazeni Local Municipality which is a subregion of the Nkangala ANC region. My constituency is largely farming areas, my office mostly deals with farm related matters such as conscientising farm owners about current legislation pertaining to treatment of farm workers and what they are entitled to in current South African law. We also intervene when there are illegal farm evictions as part of our work.
What are you passionate about? This applies both in a political/professional arena as well as personally?
Politically it is to inform citizens about policies within government and the Constitution of the country. We have enough good policies in government but citizens are not aware about what they are entitled to.
What is your message to South Africa?
The ANC is the only party that has a clear vision of building a non-racial, non-sexist, united and prosperous democratic country. It is important therefore to ensure that all South Africans vote during elections.
*Mr Bongo was appointed as the Minister of State Security on 17 October 2017.
To learn more about this Member, visit his profile.
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