Phumzile van Damme

The Democratic Alliance is known for its welloiled communications machine. The party issues press statements at the drop of a hat on issues every day. Twenty-nine-year-old Phumzile van Damme, head of the DA’s parliamentary research and communications department, is the woman behind this machine. Her team is charged with communicating the party’s role as the official opposition in Parliament. She has been a political communicator for four years, following her years as a political support officer for the then DA national spokesperson, Lindiwe Mazibuko, and for a short while with Mmusi Maimane. Van Damme is chairperson of the DA’s Cape Town City Bowl branch. Her long-term career goal is to become a public representative and Cabinet minister one day. “When I worked as the spokesperson for the Western Cape minister of finance I saw how, if utilised correctly, government resources can actively contribute to changing people’s lives.” — Andisiwe Makinana