Mr Jabulane Dube (ANC)


What is your political background? How did you come to join your political party and become an MP? I started political activism around 1987 through the influence of my peers at the time. As a resident of the KaNgwane Bantustan (Mpumalanga) there had been Inyanza and I wanted to understand what that meant and stood for. With time I got to understand that Inyanza was part of the Mass Democratic Mobilisation (MDM) forces within kaNgwane. At the time the ANC was implementing the Morogoro Consultative Conference pillars of its struggle. Just before the unbanning of the ANC we had already started to mobiliSe in anticipation of that unbanning.

At the time after finishing high school one would generally be employed as a temporary pseudo professional such as an educator. However, a trend had developed where the Bantustan employed Swazi teachers to fill teaching vacancies. As a response to that we started the concerned unemployed students group where we engaged the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) to campaign against that trend. The campaign became quite successful and we got South Africans to teach in our schools.

In 1991, I was privileged to attend the first ANC conference in Durban after the unbanning of the ANC. Adopted in that conference was the ‘ready to govern’ document. The ANC after that conference deployed me as part of the negotiators in my sub-region in Mpumalanga to deal with the pre-interim phase of local government before the transitional councils. The focus at that time was that transitional local government councils would be focusing on tourism, and all other economic activities. Because those councils would be made up of traditional leaders and former homeland public office bearers; we were tasked with negotiating their phasing out of office in anticipation of new local government councilors and administrators.

Post the 1994 elections I was elected into the first transitional council of Mpuluzi Local Municipality which later was amalgamated into the Chief Albert Luthuli District Municipality. At that time I was the chief whip of the ANC in that transitional council. In 1996 I started volunteering in the Badplaas (Emanzana) region as there was an organiser vacancy in my region. In 1999 I was appointed a full time organizer of the Gert Sibande region of the ANC until 2017, when I was then deployed to Parliament through the list system.

What does your job as an MP entail? I am at my constituency on Mondays where the management team in that office is constituted by ward councilors and administrators. On Tuesdays to Thursdays I am attending my portfolio committee meetings; though Thursday’s meetings always follow caucus meetings when there are no plenary sittings on said Thursdays. There are some afternoons when after plenary sittings I attend study group meetings in preparation for the following week’s meetings. On Fridays I return to my constituency.

What are you finding most challenging about the Fifth Parliament? Because I have local government experience regarding implementing legislation, I had some challenges regarding the law making process as a whole. I have adjusted in the intervening time to date though.

At committee level we have been seized with the Khoisan and Traditional Leadership Bill which has been quite difficult to process, because although we have held public hearings and have consulted, we have been stonewalled by the opposition and the process has been delayed.

What obstacles prevent Parliament from doing its work and how would you fix it? In the House we have the general issue of disruptions from the second biggest opposition party, but my hope is that with the new President this will get better. The disruptions do hinder the processing and finalisation of laws when they are tabled in the House.

Which constituency office have you been assigned to? Can you give examples of constituency work you engaged in? My constituency is at Mpuluzi and together with the management team of my constituency we deal with citizen’s issues. Currently we are, with the assistance of the South African Police Service (SAPS) with stock theft as Mpuluzi is quite rural. In addition there is also a challenge of unregistered liquor dealers and taverns that do not have regulated business hours.

We have also rolled out a sanitary towels programme at the beginning of 2018 where we identified a school where we also provide school uniforms to needy learners. In 2017 we had fundraised, purchased and distributed blankets to the elderly in one of our wards in Mpuluzi. In that regard we have ongoing projects quarterly that we do.

Does Parliament do a good job of holding the Executive to account? If not, what can be done to improve this? I am satisfied because Ministers and the Presidency do come to account to us though there are those exceptions from time to time.

Are you happy with the proportional representation system or are you in favour of electoral reform? I am satisfied with the current system as it allows multi-party governance at local government and also deepens that at national government.

Is Parliament’s public participation model adequate/ robust enough that it affords enough public participation before a law is passed? It is not adequate because the first hurdle is the human and financial resources that are required to adequately carry out public participation.

What are you passionate about? This applies both in a political/professional arena as well as personally? My biggest passion is seeing change in the lives of rural citizens of South Africa as I come from there. Secondly, I want to instill and entrench the belief that escape from poverty is only possible through education and to curtail a developing culture of dependency in our young girls from townships and rural areas of having "sugar daddies".

What is your message to South Africa? South Africans must appreciate that our hard won democracy was off of the blood and sweat of our fallen heroes, including Nelson Mandela. Though we are a diverse country of different religions, cultures and ethnicities we have to be tolerant of each other and our differing views in trying to build a rainbow nation.

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