Ms Elizabeth Masehela (ANC)


What is your political background? I entered politics in 1974 whilst at a Lovedale training college as a member of the Student Representative Council (SRC). I also joined the African National Congress (ANC), because it was the most active liberation movement. I remained an active member of the underground structures of the movement during my teaching years until the unbanning in 1990. During that time I held various leadership positions in my working career such as Head of Department (HoD) at the high school I taught at. I lectured and headed a department at a college of education and in 2000 I was appointed as a circuit manager in Polokwane. From there I was deployed as the on-campus manager for Capricorn Further Education and Training College (FET)in Polokwane from 2004 until 2006.

In 1995 I was elected to be a ward councillor of Moletjie Matlala Transitional Local Council (TLC) which was responsible for 17 villages at that time. In 2001 I was elected the mayor of Aganang Local Municipality and I remained the mayor for 10 years. In 2006 government policy mandated that a mayor had to become a full time deployee and I left Capricorn FET College and the education sector entirely at that time.

From 2011 onwards I remained an ordinary member of the ANC until I was deployed to Parliament in May 2014.

At one point I was the Chairperson of the ANC Women’s League Far-North (Peter Mokaba) region for almost a decade as well. I was also a deputy and then secretary of the ANC mother body in the Peter Mokaba region for 8 years in total. I also chaired the ANC Aganang sub-region for 8 years. Currently I serve on the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) of the alliance in Limpopo where I am deployed in the Vhembe District.

What does your job as an MP entail? Since I belong to the both the Tourism and Public Works Portfolio Committees, I attend the public works committee meeting on Tuesday mornings. In the afternoon I attend the plenary session of the National Assembly chamber and thereafter I attend the public works study group session of the ANC. On Wednesdays I do my administration until 15h00 in the afternoon when the House begins its session.

On Thursday mornings I attend the ANC provincial/national caucus so that I can attend the plenary session in the afternoon. After plenary I attend the tourism study group so that on Friday morning I can attend the tourism committee meetings. On Mondays I am in my constituency.

What is your impression of the fifth Parliament? As I am a new entrant of Parliament, I find the work quite interesting as we engage in very robust debates at both the committee and plenary level.

What constituency area have you been assigned to you by your party? What is most interesting about your constituency work so far? My constituency is in the Waterberg sub-region in Mogalakwena. Often we deal with service delivery related matters, especially issues around education. In that regard we always go on back-to-school campaigns each time pupils return to schools where I interact with both learners and teachers as education is my lifelong passion. We identified many shortcomings in the sector which led me to develop a school shoes project where I distributed 80 pairs of shoes to some learners in the Vhembe district where I was formally deployed. In my current ward I distributed 25 pairs of school shoes before the June school holidays.

What are you most passionate about - this applies both in a political/professional arena as well as personally? I am a social activist by nature over and above my education calling. On the 12th of June 2016 I distributed two blankets each to 170 families in my ward as an ongoing project I started in 2015.

What would your message to South Africa be? It is important that South Africans exercise their democratic right to vote. However, it is also important to vote correctly. The ANC has done a lot for South Africa and the work is not yet done, because 20 years of democracy cannot be compared with 300-plus years of suffering.

I remember very well that before 1994 in the villages I come from, as women we built our own schools by carrying sand from river banks and water to where the structures have been upgraded now. The current structures are of brick and mortar and were upgraded without residents paying a cent. Water has been tapped in the rural areas I come from and we are no longer required to fetch it from the river 5 kilometres away. These are just some of the conditions the ANC has improved and therefore the ANC should be given another term to continue its good work in providing services to South Africa.


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