Youngest MPL: I’ve been threatened, insulted, condemned but I soldiered on

2014-05-18 06:01

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Katlego Phala was only a two-year-old toddler at the dawn of democracy. Two decades later, she voted for the first time on May 7 and from next week will start her first job as a Member of the Provincial Legislature (MPL) – the youngest in the country at 22.

Raised by a single parent in Mankweng just outside Polokwane in Limpopo, Phala had gone through the challenges and limitations experienced by the youth, including a lack of education and unemployment.

She matriculated in 2010 and because of financial constraints, could not immediately enrol for higher education although she is now studying public relations management through Unisa.

“I was not going to sit and accept things as they are. I had to stand up and take it upon myself to make a change in my community – and the DA appealed to me as a perfect vehicle,” she said.

Phala joined the DA in June 2012 and went on to establish a branch in Ward 25, Mankweng. Now two years later, after undergoing gruelling selection processes, she is off to represent the party as an MPL in Limpopo.

“It was not an easy journey but we all worked hard. I have campaigned fiercely for the DA since I joined the party and worked tirelessly with others to ensure it stayed relevant to our people.”

On why she chose the DA over other parties, Phala said: “The ANC liberated us and I also realised some of the people in the DA have also contributed to the struggle. I then asked myself what the ANC has done post-democracy.

“I wanted to know whether the ANC had freed people from the bondages of poverty, unemployment and given them the better life as promised. I didn’t have to look any further for my answers but my immediate community. We have the ANC delivering in bits and pieces just before elections to lure voters only to disappear afterwards.

“The DA has changed lives in the Western Cape and that alone has given me hope.”

Going into the Limpopo legislature, Phala said she was going to represent the youth.

“I will not only be there to push the ANC to deliver on its promises but will mostly raise youth issues like educational funding as well as crime, which is caused by a lack of sports facilities in our communities,” she said.

In the legislature, Phala will find herself sitting among seasoned politicians.

“I am well prepared for the challenge. I have been through a lot already from being threatened, insulted and condemned but I soldiered on,” she said.

“Right now, my plan is to be in the legislature, grow as a politician and help govern South Africa in the best interests of our people.”

» Phala was number three on the DA candidate list in Limpopo. The DA won three seats in the province.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.