Being a Member of Parliament (MP) isn’t all about SONA and media circuses. BTS, MPs should be working to amplify our voices by representing our best interests, challenging decisions, questioning other MPs and our Cabinet and, ultimately, holding our President to account.
Ever wondered what a day in the life of an MP looks like – and if it could be the career choice for you?
We asked Phumzile van Damme of the Democratic Alliance (DA) to break down a typical day
7am: My day usually begins when I catch up on the news of the day. I use a great app, Pressreader, that allows me to access all newspapers in the country. I also scan the media coverage of the DA, and identify any issues that require response or action.
8.30am: I take part in a teleconference with party leadership to discuss the media agenda for the day. This is to identify what issues the party should be talking about and any other issues that require an official response.
An inside look on MPs voting consoles and how they work. Thread. pic.twitter.com/36IpWUzD66
— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) November 30, 2017
9.30am: I then move on to a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee meeting. I serve on the Communications Committee, where we not only discuss department issues and its minister but also entities such as the SABC, ICASA, MDDA, Brand SA, the Film and Publication Board and others.
Tuesday 21 November:I left the house, drove to work, arrived, parked and walked through the underground garage, across the Parliamentary precinct with idoek yok’lala hanging out the back of my top. I just noticed when it fell off in my office. No one said anything. pic.twitter.com/KCj1vpLMxi
— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) November 21, 2017
1pm: I break for lunch, usually eating at the cafeteria in Parliament. I sometimes use my lunch hour for meetings.
2pm: I move into a Parliamentary sitting, which can last for the rest of the afternoon.
Facebook reminds me that this time last year SONA took place. This was the calm before the storm, before what was to become a tumultuous year in Parliament. Looking forward to #SONA2019 when SA has a new beginning! pic.twitter.com/ZLLsg3o86I
— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) February 9, 2018
5pm to 7pm: Depending on what time the sitting ends, I try to go for a walk along Sea Point’s promenade.
8pm: Time to relax!
Ke Summer 🌼☀️🌻🌞
— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) December 16, 2017
9pm: I catch up on some reading and prep for the next day, if I need to.
12am: Bed time, finally!
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