DA’s Mark Steele heads for Parliament

2009-04-30 00:00

DA ward councillor Mark Steele is leaving his ward and heading for Parliament.

Steele, who was placed seventh on the DA’s national assembly list for KZN, previously served as a replacement Member of Parliament for nine months in 2003 and just missed going back in 2004.

“This has given me some valuable experience, which I hope to take back to Parliament. From a small caucus of 12 in Msunduzi I will be joining a very big caucus of 67. I have a huge sense of anticipation at the challenges that lie ahead.”

Steele said the DA made merit and diversity the two main criteria when it came to selecting its candidate lists.

“I believe we have achieved a national caucus and nine provincial caucus (we have 65 MPLs, with seven in KZN) which are full of very able people from all South African communities who will make a significant contribution to the life of this country.”

Steele said councillors who will now become MPs and MPLs take with them into their new spheres of government the “very valuable lessons of how to represent wards and voters on the ground” and the priorities of service delivery to these communities.

“I believe the biggest lesson one can learn in politics is that the work of government is done with the money of the tax payers. There is no such thing as government money … This means that all public representatives have a duty to hold public officials to account for the services they provide and to be constantly challenging them to do more for less.”

Steele said all those in politics would be looking with interest to the transition towards a metro council in two years time.

“No matter where I am assigned in terms of parliamentary responsibilities, I hope I will still be closely involved in the affairs of Pietermaritzburg and to be able to participate fully in shaping the new metro council that will emerge in 2011.”

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