A woman’s advocacy for public accountability

August 20, 2019

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Pumula Constituency Member of Parliament, Honourable Sichelesile Mahlangu has been instrumental in mobilising and assisting Pelandaba West (Ward 27) residents in lobbying council to desist from issuing land to ‘dodgy’ private developers.

After a grueling five years with no access to water and sewer reticulation due to private land developers’ failure to service stands, women in Pelandaba West alerted Mahlangu, of a ticking health time bomb in the area.

Fulfilling Leadership goals

Sichelesile Mahlangu (38) is a former Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) Ward Advocacy Committee (WAC) member. She is part of the women who were beneficiaries of the Running to Win mentorship programme which began in 2017. The programme enhanced female community leaders’ capacity to participate in public and political processes. As a result, Mahlangu gained interest and confidence to contest in the 2018 elections and was elected into parliament on the 30th of July 2019.

Becoming a community advocate

Addressing residents during a feedback meeting in Pelandaba West, Mahlangu said the lack of access to water is a policy issue that she will push together with the area Councillor Alderman Siboniso Khumalo.

“Water is life and it should be available at all times. I will take this issue up to parliament and also strategise with the local councillor so that this issue is solved. I am also interested in holding monthly feedback meetings with you (community members) so that I can fully represent you in parliament,” said Mahlangu.

Reaping the hard work

Shortly afterwards, council resolved to desist from using private land developers as quoted by Town Clerk Christopher Dube in state publications.

“We are having problems with part of Ward 27, Pelandaba West which has still not been serviced to this day. We are trying to facilitate dialogue between the private developers and the beneficiaries. The problem is that the project is not yet finished and the developer is now quoting using the bond and rating, saying money has lost value, thereby charging beneficiaries exorbitant amounts of money,” said Mr Dube in a report on state media.

Mahlangu plans to further advocate and provide opportunities for the development of her constituency for the betterment of society including the less privileged. She also intends to mentor young women.



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