New ‘voice for voiceless’
Newly sworn in EFF member of parliament Yoliswa Yako, 35, hopes to use her new role to champion the plight of the voiceless, particularly black women and children.
The former Nelson Mandela Bay councillor and municipal public accounts chair was sworn in on Tuesday and delivered her maiden speech on #FeesMusFall activists who had either been expelled from university or were in jail.
Yako resigned as a councillor on Tuesday and will be replaced by regional command team member Nosipho Ncana.
During an interview with Weekend Post, Yako said she felt black women and children continued to be marginalised.
“I plan to be as honest to my values and those of the party as humanly possibly,” she said.
“I will use the platform of the National Assembly as a gateway to being the mouthpiece for those with no voice.”
The mother of two has previously been vocal on her stance around challenges women in SA face.
She said she would continue with her efforts.
“I plan to continue talking about the plight of women in this country, especially the women of the Eastern Cape.
“My plan is to take this challenge head-on and honour the opportunity and the trust my leadership has granted me.”
Yako says black women and children continue to be marginalised
Yako said her deployment to parliament had come as a surprise even though it was part of her political career plan.
“I see this as the biggest and highest calling especially in my short life in politics. For me this speaks to how determination and being grounded [and] how genuine care for people can change a life.”
Yako described her first week in parliament as both daunting and exciting.
“I couldn’t take it all in at the same time because as I was sworn in I was told that I would be debating the plight of #FeesMustFall students.
“That was quite a lot for me to take in but it speaks to the trust that the leadership has in me and the calibre of leaders that we have in the EFF who are young and vibrant, who are unafraid,” Yako said.
She said she was proud to be part of the EFF caucus and hoped to make her mark in some of the issues the party was championing in parliament, particularly land expropriation without compensation and the nationalisation of mines.
“To be able to be part of policy changes that would change lives of other people is something that I am proud of.”
ON THE RISE: Former Bay councillor and newly sworn in EFF MP, Yoliswa Yako