Kwena Moloto says mayor Solly Msimanga shaped him into a leader and he is honoured to tackle student issues.
SAKHILE NDLAZI

MEET the newly elected SRC president at the University of Pretoria (UP) Kwena Moloto.

The smart and witty 23-year-old is definitely making a mark on the student politics landscape.

A force to be reckoned with, rumour also has it that women are also melting at the sight of him.

But besides that, just how much do we know about this lad besides the fact that he is also a DA PR Councillor and a director of the Ubuntu Box Initiative, an NPO founded by him and other UP students with the aim of unifying student bodies across the country.

The Pretoria News picked the brains of this third year History and Anthropology student to find out more about his experience as a resident of the capital.

1) Are you an original from the city?

I have lived in Pretoria since I was 2 years old. My parents met in Harare where my father was in exile during apartheid.

They moved to America so that my father could study at MIT, in Boston. I was born in Boston in 1994 and my family and I moved back to South Africa in 1996.

2) What do you like most about the city?

What I love most about Pretoria is its diversity. People from across South Africa, as well as the greater African continent, come to Pretoria for a better life.

This melting pot of races, cultures, religions and nationalities is what makes Pretoria so amazing and unique.

3) Where do you hang out or go for fun?

Being a student, you will often find me out at the Blue Room, Aandklas or Springboks in the evenings. I’m also a huge sports fan.

I often attend Tuks soccer, netball and rugby matches in Hatfield as well as Blue Bulls games at Loftus Versfeld.

4) What five things would you change if you were mayor?

As a PR Councillor and SRC president my aim is to advocate for student issues in the capital.

a) In light of the current residence shortage that exists at our institutions of higher learning across South Africa, I plan on advocating for social housing for students.

b) Increase the Tshwi-fi coverage so that all high-density student areas have access to online resources.

c) There is a desperate need to increase the number of TMPD and SAPS officers in student areas to decrease student-targeted crime. We’ve already seen this DA-led city tackling this issue with the recent deployment of a bicycle unit in the Hatfield area.

It is important that we extend this to other student areas across the city.

d) Transport is a significant cost associated with study for students. I plan on advocating for subsidised student rates for the AreYeng and Tshwane Bus Service.

e) Create vibrant trading zones around institutions of higher learning where traders can sell food to students at affordable rates.

5) What do you think are the five advantages of living in the city?

a) The capital city has the largest student population in South Africa. Students are innovative, hard-working and energetic and I believe that they have the potential to take this city to new heights economically, technologically and socially.

b) The City is massive and consists of several types of land with various economic activities. We are the only metro that boasts the Big Five. This means a resident could go on a game drive in the morning and go out to a night club in the evening without ever leaving the municipality.

c) The city hosts a wide range of events ranging from cultural to economic to social. Pretoria is truly a vibrant city.

d) Pretoria also boasts the largest concentration of embassies in the world. Second only to Washington DC.

6) What job do you do and does it satisfy you?

I am the SRC president at UP as well as a PR Councillor in the City of Tshwane. Students are my core constituency and I am committed to fighting for student issues both on campus and in the City. I love both of my jobs, they allow me to tackle student issues from different angles.

I am truly blessed to have been given such an opportunity.

7) If you could move away from the city, where would you go and why?

If I was forced to move away from Pretoria I would move to Johannesburg. Simply because Johannesburg is just a Gautrain ride away from Pretoria.

8) Which sports teams do you support?

I am an avid Liverpool FC fan. I also support all Tuks sports teams.

9 ) Are there any people from the city that you look up to or who had shaped your life?

The Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga.

I was part of Msimanga’s mayoral campaign team and spent several months travelling from ward to ward with him during the 2016 local government elections.

I learnt so much from him over the course of the campaign and the lessons shaped me into the leader I am today.

10) What mode of transport do you use and is it convenient?

I use the Tshwane Bus Service and A re Yeng. Both are extremely convenient. However, the TBS is not the most reliable. It is an issue that the city is currently addressing.