From Volunteer to MMC of Joburg Housing
Johannesburg – At 30, he is at the helm of the highest office in the City of Johannesburg. Staying at the hostel for 9 years shaped his vision and mission as it helped him understand the issues that people on the ground are facing.
Born and bred in KwaZulu Natal, Ulundi, Member of Mayoral Committee (MMC) Mlungisi Mabaso said he grew up in a very supportive family where he was raised by his mother after his father passed away when he was 9 “I draw all my strength from my mother for her unwavering support. My political career started when I was young” He led the protests over the demolitions of the Dube hostel where he was staying , giving birth to his political career.
On his priority list, the MMC said he would like to upgrade old age homes, make sure the senior citizens are safe, clean up and mantainence of hostels such as Madala hostel in Alexander.
Talking about the challenges of being a youngest leader MMC Mabaso said “when you are young, people might not take you serious, but he argued that what is important is the message you would be sending”. However, besides this, he was confident that he has support from the other older MMCs as they are free to engage, to advise and always available for him.
One of the things that makes him different is that he can relate to the challenges that people at the informal settlements are facing “I can go for 3 to 4 days without electricity because I’ve been there before “ he pointed. It is clear that his personal experiences shaped him to who he is today.
MANAGING THE CITY
On the strategies to handle the influx of people into Johannesburg intraprovincially and other countries, the MMC said that it is so difficult to stop people from coming to Joburg because it is the economic hub, adding that going back to history, very few people are from Joburg. “After all, we all coming from somewhere, we are not originally from here” (Joburg), he said.
Assuming he was appointed the president of SA, he said his priority was going to be on the gender based violence. “As men we should always protect women and children . If I were to be appointed president I would enforce the death penalty. “ he emphasized.
Not married and “unavailable”. “My mother is very supportive that’s why I am not in a hurry to get married” he emphasized.
ADVICE TO THE YOUTH
Advising the youth he said “Prove yourself and fight for your own space” adding that it is important to learn and appreciate whatever you have. “ Be focused, accept responsibility , don’t be followed, make sure to finish what you started, not everything is possible “