24-year-old Hlomela Bucwa, the youngest Member of Parliament (MP) in South Africa took her turn to address the house for the first time on Tuesday.
She delivered a contribution to the parliamentary debate on the subject, ‘‘Government’s failure to improve the lives of young South Africans with regard to employment education and training.’‘
Hlomela emphasized on the section of the youth she described as the ‘‘lost generation,’‘ those who continue to be without basic access to education and to employment.
The lost generation is a generation of born frees who are victim to to decades of compounding government greed and corruption. Let us tread softly because we tread on the dreams of a lost generation.
Her six-minutes address lambasted the government for not doing enough to rescue the average South African youth. ‘‘We believe youth should be provided with quality education with support to ensure their success in institutions of learning. Let us tread softly because we tread on the dreams of a lost generation.
‘‘The lost generation is a generation of born frees who are victim to decades of compounding government greed and corruption. This is a lost generation whose government has turned its back on the building blocks, the futures, of my fellow young South Africans.
‘‘We find ourselves with a govt that is scared of its own young people and excludes them from acquiring an education and jobs,’‘ she added. She concluded her speech to a standing ovation by members of her party, the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA).
But during the speech and long afterwards, South Africans took to Twitter to shower her with praise for her effort. The popular news website Times Live captioned her delivery ‘‘Every South African needs to watch this maiden speech from the youngest Member of Parliament to date.’‘
Youngest Member Of Parliament— brighten (u_bhekani) February 21, 2017
HlomelaBucwalooks lovely and key to the youth as a great icon for inspiration
Great maiden speech by— SollyMalatsi (SollyMalatsi) February 21, 2017
Yasss leader! So proud of your slayage in your speech today! You spoke better than most MPs! Siyaziqenya ngawe!— Mbali Ntuli (mbalimcdust) February 21, 2017
She made time to respond to a Twitter jibe in the midst of all the praise.
If there is anything that polished me it is the sacrifices my parents have made to provide a diff life for me when the gvt failed! https://t.co/mJV94EiUxV— Hlomela Bucwa. (@HlomelaBucwa) February 21, 2017
Hlomela was sworn in as MP on the DA’s ticket last November, she became the youngest MP taking over from a fellow DA MP, Yusuf Cassim. She was the first female Student Representative Council president of the former Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. She is studying to become a lawyer.
“I wanted to study [Law] and to fight for the rights of people. My times as SRC president and also serving on the University’s highest decision-making body, the NMMU Council, helped build a solution-driven attitude in me,” she is quoted to have said.