2024 elections spark new dawn as ActionSA and PA usher youngsters into power

Jasmine Petersen, 22, is one the Patriotic Alliance’s youngest MPs. l GAYTON MCKENZIE/FACEBOOK

Jasmine Petersen, 22, is one the Patriotic Alliance’s youngest MPs. l GAYTON MCKENZIE/FACEBOOK

Published Jun 13, 2024


ActionSA and the Patriotic Alliance have not only secured parliamentary seats, but they are to be a beacon of hope for the young South Africans.

As the first sitting of the National Assembly is set to take place on Friday, these two parties have ushered three of its youngest members to Parliament, representing one of the country’s under-represented demographic, the youth which accounts for 52% of the nation's population.

Boasting ActionSA’s youngest member of Parliament is 32-year-old Malebo Kobe. She is among the six seats the party secured after the election results.

Kobe hinted that her being in Parliament represented two of the most marginalised demographics in society; women and the youth, with their voices rarely being heard.

“As a young member of Parliament, I will use my lived experiences as a young person who has experienced the manifestation of social inequalities and poverty to advocate for meaningful change at the highest level of government.

“I believe I have chosen the right vehicle, which will allow us the opportunity to offer sound solutions to these challenges and bring our society closer to the South African dream,” said Kobe.

Moreover, Kobe noted that she planned to heed, challenge and provide sustainable solutions to the nuanced plight of young people, and young black women, through her educational background and political acumen. Kobe holds a bachelors in international relations and a masters in international relations from the University of Jilin, China.

She added that her five-year term in Parliament would be dedicated to helping garner political awareness among the youth of this country.

“I plan to leverage on my background, academic and professional experience, and day to day lived experiences of an average South African young woman to contribute to and present authentic solutions that resonate with all South Africans from all walks of life.

“It is my hope that throughout this five-year term, I will be able to draw young people, who are unfortunately a huge demographic that is under-represented in terms of participation in the political arena, back into mainstream politics.

“I am excited for this opportunity and will use it as responsible as possible with the understanding that I represent a host of demographics that goes beyond just my age,” she said.

Kobe highlighted the presence of a young person in the party and in Parliament. “Is a bonus, and being a young woman helps with the component of diversity in our caucus of six,” she said.

Malebo Kobe, 32, is ActionSA’s youngest MP. l MALEBO KOBE/FACEBOOK

Joining the youth bandwagon are the PA’s Gen-Z MPs, Jasmine Petersen (22) and Cleo Wilskut (20).

While The Star failed to score an interview with the PA’s spokesperson, Steve Motale, after attempted calls and texts, party leader Gayton McKenzie expressed his joy on his Facebook page, celebrating the young parliamentarians taking up space in South Africa’s political landscape.

Another young MP for Patriotic Alliance, is 20-year-old Cleo Wilskut. l GAYTON MCKENZIE/FACEBOOK

“I went to jail at age 20; they are going into Parliament at age 20; we are breaking generational curses in our race,” he said, citing his criminal career and incarceration as a young man.

The Star

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