MEET HLOMELA Bucwa, who, at 24, is South Africa’s youngest Member of Parliament (MP).
The former Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Student Representative Council (SRC) president, who was sworn in on November 10, 2016, gave her maiden speech in parliament this week.
She bemoaned the state of the basic education system, “which [teaches] to look for jobs, not to create jobs”.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) MP said her party would rescue her generation and the country, and then provided a list of policy plans from the party to transform and improve education.
Upon winning the election, Hlomela said she was shocked when she got word that she had made it through the gruelling selection process – which included going through Electoral College and essentially selling her skills to a panel of more than 30 people – but was largely humbled by her party’s faith in her leadership abilities.
“I feel very privileged to be here and am also excited to be taking the voice of my constituency – young people – to a national platform,” she said.
“Mine has always been to champion youth issues and as a major constituency in our country, I’m humbled to be able to do this in Parliament as well.
Hlomela says her time at NMMU and, in particular, her tenure as SRC president have contributed to her political growth.
Hlomela, who is completing her final year Law studies, says it all started with her decision to study towards a LLB.
“I wanted to study [Law] and to fight for the rights of people. My times as SRC president and also serving on the University’s highest decision-making body, the NMMU Council, helped build a solution-driven attitude in me,” she said.
“I think as young people, instead of looking for leadership in the quest to champion that which concerns us, we should aim to become leaders and effect the change we wish to see.”