Ms Sheilla Tembalam Xego (ANC)


What is your political background?

My interest in politics started way back in 1976 and 1977 when I was young and still attending teaching college. I started teaching in 1980 and then joined a teacher union. As a unionist I became actively involved in politics. From 2000 to 2006 I served as a Councillor in Mbhase Municipality in the Eastern Cape. I then became a Councillor in the Amathole District Municipality and served from 2006 to 2010. In 2011 I was elected to serve as a Member of Parliament.

What does your job as an MP entail?

Members of parliament exercise oversight over the Executive. MPs also propose and pass legislation that brings about changes in people’s lives. It is also my responsibility to take people’s needs from my constituency to Parliament. In essence, it is my responsibility to ensure that I put forward the interests of my constituency and take their complaints to different government departments.

What is your impression of the Fifth Parliament so far?

The Fifth Parliament is interesting because there is active involvement and interest by young people which has never been the case before. The interest in Parliament is clear judging by the number of people who are watching Channel 408 where everything that happens in Parliament is shown to the general public.

Where is your constituency? What has been most interesting about your constituency work so far?

I am assigned a constituency office in a small Eastern Cape town under the Amothole District Municipality. My areas of interest are around socio-economic issues around the province. I am mostly involved in health related projects, mostly in the economic programmes of the area. I am also involved in creating awareness so that people can represent their communities in the forums of the municipalities, because this where basic needs are being addressed.

What are you passionate about?

This applies both in a political/professional and personal context? I am passionate about recruiting members to the African National Congress, because I want most South Africans to know what the ANC stands for, what it has done for the people of South Africa and how things have changed from the previous regime to the new democratic South Africa. I am a “housekeeper” who likes to network and I try to address people’s concerns at my constituency, particularly women’s issues.

What would your message to South Africans be?

South Africans should not to focus on the problems that seemed to be advocated by other people. I would also like South Africans to know how the country was before 1994 and how it has changed today.

*This blog interview was conducted during the Fifth Parliament.

To learn more about this Member, visit her profile.

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