Bhisho’s new chief whip not taking duties lightly
Driving the message of the ANC in the Bhisho legislature and ensuring all members toe the party line is not a task newly elected chief whip Loyiso Magqashela takes lightly – in fact, it makes him a little anxious.
The newly sworn in MPL and ANC provincial executive committee member said he was excited by the realisation that the party still saw something in him, enough to deploy him as chief whip of the party in the legislature.
“I have some element of fear because I’m not so sure if I’ll live up to the expectation of the organisation even though these are comrades I know and served with,” Magqashela said.
While his list of duties are many, in the main Magqashela is responsible for ensuring members of the ANC attend meetings, that they vote in accordance with the party’s desires, and he must create synergy among the various political parties in the legislature.
A teacher by profession, Magqashela said as a former secretary for the Joe Gqabi district municipality, it was not the first time that he had been assigned a task by the party.
“My task now is to ensure I’m leading a coherent caucus, making sure everyone is guided by what the ANC has mandated us to do and with regard to its agenda of transforming the lives of people for the better.“What each one of us has to do is play our roles in caucus as well as the legislature as we have to speak to the manifesto of the organisation,” he said.In an interview on Friday, Magqeshela said they now needed to ensure the ANC led a clean and effective government while maintaining the decorum of the legislature.“Working with the rest of the comrades, we need to be effective and hold everyone to account.“I’m also tasked to ensure effective oversight. If one is required to be in a committee, that person must attend and if a committee is set to sit at a particular time, that must be met,” he said.Magqashela cut his teeth in student politics at the Transkei College, where he obtained his teaching qualification.During his teaching days, he led the South African Democratic Teachers Union in Joe Gqabi in 2000 before leaving teaching to be a full-time politician.He was also the political head for corporate services in the municipality when it was still known as Ukhahlamba district municipality under the mayorship of Thandiswa Marawu.While delivering his speech in the legislature on Wednesday, Magqashela said the party heard the loud message from the electorate which was that the people wanted the ANC to govern.“What is clear is that the needs of the people lie squarely on the shoulders of this component elected here today.“The time for trying to score cheap political points is over.“We are all members of this legislature, and must put the interest of people together.“We are charged with electing a people-centred legislature that sees the province prospering on the economic front and ensures clean governance,” Magqashela said.