SA's Youngest MP (22) To Priotise Peer Concerns

Pretoria, May 16, 2014-The 22-year-old woman, who will become the youngest member of a national or provincial legislature for the next term says lack of service delivery and corruption prompted her to join politics.

Katlego Phala of Mankweng, outside Polokwane, Limpopo was born in April 1992. She will become a member of the Limpopo Legislature under the Democratic Alliance (DA), a party she joined two years ago.

Phala is the youngest person on a list of 830 designated members of the National Assembly and nine provincial legislatures that was handed over by the Independent Electoral Commission’s Pansy Tlakula to Chief Justice Moegoeng Moegoeng on Friday.

Phala promises to ensure that the issues of the youth are prioritized by the government. Mankweng township is not the safest township anymore, she said, with no service delivery, high level of corruption and rape – that is why it was fit for her to stand up as the youth and take charge in her community.

“I am going there to represent the youth, to take their issues off the ground into the legislature to see that they are resolved,” says Phala.

The First Sitting of the Fifth Legislature of Limpopo is scheduled for Wednesday. The Limpopo Legislature will hold its first sitting of the fifth legislature on the 21st of May.

Nearly 49 new members of the legislature will elect the premier, the speaker and the deputy speaker. The chairperson of the Preparatory Committee for the Inauguration of the Limpopo Legislature, Mapoko Mabelane, says preparations for the swearing in of the new members by a judge are at an advanced stage.  

A lecturer in the School of Administration at the University of Limpopo’s Turfloop Campus, Lucas Nemutanzhela, believes that the provincial ANC chairperson, Stan Mathabatha will retain the premiership.

Nemutanzhela says however that there could be new faces in the Provincial Executive Council. Some people in Limpopo have repeated the call for better service delivery by the new administration. During election campaigning, people raised issues related to water, electricity and tarred roads.