Member of KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature
Hlanganani Gumbi has always gravitated towards public service, determined to be part of ensuring real and meaningful change to South African society. With a passion for issues around human settlements, breaking the migrant labour system, and correcting the structural imbalances of the past in a meaningful and substantive manner, he believes South Africa has the potential to ensure no one lives in poverty or without an opportunity to live out their dreams.
Having joined the Democratic Alliance Students Organisation (Daso) at Rhodes University, Gumbi became part of the DA Young Leaders Programme, leading the largest Daso branch at the time. In the 2011 local government elections, he was elected to the eThekwini Metropolitan and worked in human settlements, continuing with this focus when he was later elected to the provincial legislature during the 2014 national provincial elections.
“During my time in human settlements at local government level and the provincial legislature, I built a strong relationship with institutions such as Abahlali baseMjondolo and various whistle-blowers, as we fought housing corruption and illegal evictions in informal settlements, which was central to my role in my caucuses,” says Gumbi.
“I also played a prominent role in growing our brand and voter base within informal settlements as I fought for fair housing allocations, which is now finally coming to fruition in the province.” Aged 27, Gumbi believes his purpose is his passion, underscored by preparation meeting opportunity. He is inspired by young leaders, both within and out of politics, who persevere and succeed through the toughest of times. “For me there is nothing more inspiring than seeing an underdog overcome the odds.
Young people inspire me even more as they compete for their space in a world that is unkind to them,” he says. Gumbi maintains his greatest challenge is balancing his priorities and time to meet the expectations of his job.
— Linda Doke