MP, African National Congress
Mduduzi Manana is one of the young MPs who have brought about a
new era of youth participation in holding the executive to account.
The 26-year-old, the youngest MP in Parliament, serves on two portfolio
committees: public works and international relations and cooperation. As a
further indication of confi dence in him, Parliament also designated Manana as
a commissioner of the magistrates' commission.
This member of the ANC Youth League's national executive committee had
no idea how powerful Parliament was until his party sent him to the National
Assembly last year. He is now one of more than 300 MPs who draft laws and
interact with the parliaments of other countries and he has dedicated himself
to reading and knowing how government departments work so he is able to
hold them to account.
Manana believes that the laws of the country can only favour the youth if
young MPs increase their participation in lawmaking and policy formulation.
One of the many debates he participated in was during the tabling of the
budget vote on public works when he urged the department to ensure that
young people benefi t from the expanded public works programme. He has
also taken up the issue of economic development targeting rural women.
unlike those of other youth league leaders, Manana's business interests have
never put him in the spotlight or raised uncomfortable questions. Manana,
who holds a BA degree in political science and sociology from the university
of KwaZulu-Natal, believes in transparency and detests leaders who use their
political weight to secure business, calling that a travesty of justice.
He draws much of his political wisdom from his mother, Sibongile Manana,
MEC for safety, security and liaison in Mpumalanga, but quickly dispels any
notion that he might be an extension of his mother's political activism.
However, he does admit to going to his mother for advice whenever he fi nds
himself in a political dilemma. � Mmanaledi Mataboge
Lunch spot: Cubana, Green Point, Cape Town