Onicca Moloi describes the feeling she has had since being sworn in as Limpopo’s newest Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Sport, Arts and Culture as “overwhelmed.”
The young woman, who has been an MPL since 2014, said during an interview on Friday that she has never really aspired to be an MEC.
“I just wanted to serve the people, however and in what capacity I did not care about,” she said. “It is not something that occupied my mind. If someone is a street sweeper and is doing a great job, then it is fine.” She just intends to serve and do the best she can.
She intended to meet with executive and senior management of the department on Monday “to establish the challenges and what is to be done.”
A day after she was sworn in she already had to face the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) in her new capacity. “I had to say something, because I had taken the responsibility on the previous day. It seems the biggest problems of the department are asset management and underspending of grants,” she said.
Moloi is well known for the work she is doing as patron of Thalita Koum Girls’ Network, an organisation to raise up young girls through actions such as the distribution of sanitary towels to schools and outreaches and career exhibitions. She wants to empower young women and give them a chance to excel. “Everybody deserves a second chance,” she said. She herself fell pregnant when she was 17 years old, but her mother supported her through it all.
She is married and has three children, two boys and one girl and enjoys cooking as a hobby.
Several of the structures of the African National Congress (ANC) welcomed her appointment. “The appointment of Onicca Moloi as MEC for Sport Arts and culture is a further confirmation of the ANC’s government in the empowerment of Women. We note with much appreciation the fact that in Limpopo, women constitute majority in the Provincial cabinet and serving mayors of municipalities, we congratulate Onicca Moloi in her appointment and we believe she will continue to distinguish herself as a hardworking servant of her people,” the ANC’s Women’s League stated in a press release. The Office of the Chief Whip on behalf of the ANC Caucus in the Legislature, through a press release by Falaza Mdaka said “The new MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture Onicca Moloi is a committed community activist who has proven her mettle in a number of roles that she has assumed politically and within the Legislature. She brings with her to the new portfolio, individual excellence and political astuteness gained by her many years in the Youth League politics and the broader movement. Her appointment is an affirmation that the ANC is committed to youth empowerment and generational mix, in all spheres of Government.”
The party’s Youth League (Ancyl) said it was particularly pleased that Moloi, one of its former leaders, was appointed as MEC for Sports Arts & Culture.
“She is a product of the youth movement, from the Congress of South African Students (Cosas), South African Students Congress (Sasco) and the Ancyl, where she also served as member and Spokesperson of the Ancyl Provincial Task Team. She takes over a dynamic department which is expected to build the first arts theatre in the province to unearth the rich talent of especially young people in the province. Her passion for youth development is evident through her continued work in the civil society movement.”
Story and photo: NELIE ERASMUS
Featured photo: Onicca Moloi, Sport, Arts and Culture MEC.