Dbn trio head for Cape

2014-05-19 00:00

THE provincial economic powerhouse has lost three city councillors to national Parliament.

The new parliamentarians will be sworn in this week.

And among the group will be one of national Parliament’s youngest intakes for South Africa’s fifth democratically elected government.

The councillors, who come from both the Democratic Alliance and National Freedom Party, will begin commuting from Durban to Cape Town immediately on an almost weekly basis while tending to their constituencies in KZN.

The DA’s Dean MacPherson and Tim Brauteseth were ward councillors in Durban North and Pinetown respectively while the National Freedom Party — which will be represented in national Parliament for the first time in the party’s short history — have put forward Ahmed Munzoor Shaik Emam, a PR councillor.

All of them will be sworn in on May 21 and all resigned from their city posts last week.

MacPherson at just 29 years old, is among the youngest parliamentarians. He said “political ambition” has played a vital role in his ascent up the political ranks.

“I am under no illusion about how hard it will be. Since I found out on Friday, I have been inundated by people in their 20s and younger who realise that Parliament is accessible by anyone and that it is possible,” he said.

Coming from a political family, MacPherson, whose father Rory was a DA councillor for La Lucia, said his time in local government has been “invaluable”.

“In the last six months I have been on the campaign trail in KZN. Before I head off to the Mother City this week I have been spending time with my 80-year-old grandmother who fully supports me. We are very close. There has been a lot of sacrifice and it has taken its toll on my personal life. My willingness to campaign stems back to when I campaigned to be a prefect at school — and lost. Since then I realised you must campaign with everything you have,” said MacPherson.

Tim Brauteseth said the step to national Parliament fulfils an ambition of his.

“When I started in politics in 2009, I decided I wanted to be in national Parliament by 50. I am 45 years old now. Making Parliament, however, is not a personal crusade but the result of the support from voters and colleagues. The KZN representation has increased now from seven to 10 MPs as our party grows in strength,” he said.

With a background in forensic investigations, he said he is hopeful these skills will help him in his oversight capacity.

“I will still be based in Durban but the new challenge will be challenging. It is going to take some adjustment but my daughter — who is seven years old — said she will still love me even if I am in Cape Town,” said Brauteseth.

Ahmed Munzoor Shaik Emam said his inclusion in the Parliament is part of the growth of the National Freedom Party.

He was part of the municipal public accounts committee.

“I have been with this party since its inception. We started small, got what we needed right and now we are growing. I have every hope of pushing for greater resources to be put into fighting corruption and stronger oversight. My time in local government made me realise how widespread corruption really is. We need a population who is educated because right now our people don’t realise what effect corruption has on the delivery of services,” he said.

Shaik Emam said the NFP’s rise is “historic” and the party will “serve the poorest of the poor” from every position it holds.

• jonathan.erasmus@witness.co.za

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