New ‘voice for voice­less’

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - News - Siyam­tanda Capa ca­pas@tioblack­

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

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