Thoko Xasa

CityPress - - News -

Xasa steps into the large shoes of her pre­de­ces­sor, Derek Hanekom, who was axed this week af­ter serv­ing in the ex­ec­u­tive since 1994.

Xasa (54) can­not af­ford to drop the ball – Hanekom’s per­for­mance as tourism min­is­ter al­ways re­ceived much praise, in­clud­ing from the highly crit­i­cal op­po­si­tion par­ties.

She is one of only a few peo­ple who have held ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tions in all three spheres of govern­ment.

A teacher by pro­fes­sion, Xasa was the first woman to be­come a mayor of a dis­trict mu­nic­i­pal­ity when she was elected to lead the King Sa­bata Dalindyebo Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity in the tran­si­tional pe­riod of lo­cal govern­ment in the Eastern Cape. She later be­came an MEC for so­cial de­vel­op­ment, then hous­ing, and later for lo­cal govern­ment and tra­di­tional af­fairs.

Xasa has been an ANC ac­tivist for most of her life. She served two terms as the pro­vin­cial trea­surer of the ANC in the Eastern Cape. In 2015, she be­came the na­tional spokesper­son for the ANC Women’s League af­ter her re-elec­tion into the league’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee. She was the first woman elected into the struc­ture in 1997 un­der Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela’s lead­er­ship.

Her pro­mo­tion to a full min­is­te­rial po­si­tion this week is not only a feather in her cap, but a vic­tory for the women’s league, which con­tin­ues to fight for women to be ap­pointed to se­nior po­si­tions.

Xasa, who is from Li­bode in the Eastern Cape, has served as deputy to Hanekom from 2014.

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