- Democratic Alliance MP Phumzile Van Damme took to social media to relive her modest beginning as part of the party's election campaign
- Her efforts were tainted by one user commenting “So I was right. You are a tea girl.”
- The comment irked the MP, who condemned the dehumanization of those who work in the service industry
Phumzile Van Damme, an MP for the Democratic Alliance, took to social media platform Twitter to show her modest beginning, working as a waitress.
Van Damme revealed that she had worked as a waitress to pay her way as a student, as many South Africans do.
The MP had used the opportunity to encourage businesses to hire young people, saying that the unemployment rate facing the youth was too high.
One user, @LuRaWenu, took the opportunity to insult Van Damme, referring to her as a 'tea girl'.
The MP for the opposition party responded to condemn the view that service industry workers are 'sub-human':
"Here’s an insult always bandied around recklessly. I’ve always wanted to deconstruct it. The insult is based on the belief that those working in the service industry as waitresses, domestic workers, kitchen staff etc. are sub-human & their vocation can be used as an insult."
Van Damme explained that she had continued working as a waitress after university, until she found work as a researcher for the Democratic Alliance.
Here are some of the responses to the post:
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