South Africa's Next Leaders: 7 Young People Under 30 Who Are Members of Parliament, Naledi Chirwa And More

South Africa's Next Leaders: 7 Young People Under 30 Who Are Members of Parliament, Naledi Chirwa And More

Young people in South Africa have always been at the forefront of making revolutionary changes in South Africa. We celebrate 16 June because young people dared to take a stand for what they believed in and marched the streets of Soweto for their rights.

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Years after the class of 1976 made their voices heard, a new class of young people rose up in 2015 who fought for free education for all during the countrywide Fees Must Fall protests. Their valiant efforts did not go unnoticed and some of the young leaders now occupy seats in the National Assembly and serve as some of the youngest members of Parliament.

EFF, ANC, Democratic Alliance, Naledi Chirwa, Nompendulo Mkhathswa, Sibongiseni Ngcobo, Thlologel Malatji, Mathew John Cuthbert, Sinawo Tambo, Luyolo Mphithi
Naledi Chirwa, Nompendulo Mkhatshwa and Sibongiseni Ngcobo and some of SA's youngest members of Parliament currently making waves. Images: @NalediChirwa, @sthaa_msimang & @stanzabaraka
Source: Twitter

Briefly News takes a deep dive into seven members of Parliament who are under the age of 30 and are making important moves in South Africa.

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1. Sinawo Thambo - Economic Freedom Fighters

Sinawo Thambo is currently the youngest person in the National Assembly at the age of 26. While he may be young, Tambo made a name for himself in the political sphere when he joined the EFF while he was studying at the University of Cape Town.

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Sinawo Thambo - Economic Freedom Fighters
Sinawo Thambo is the youngest member of Parliament in South Africa. Images: @EFFSouthAfrica
Source: Twitter

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, language and literature and politics and governance, which he obtained in 2021. He became an MP in 2020, being the only young person to join the National Assembly that year, according to SundayWorld.

Thambo grew up in a family that supported the ruling party, but after being disillusioned by the ANC, he made his switch to the EFF, according to TimesLIVE. While in the EFF, Thambo served as the provincial chairperson EFF Student Command and in March 2022, he was promoted to the position of the National Spokesperson of the EFF.

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2. Sibongiseni Ngcobo - Democratic Alliance

27-Year-old Sibongiseni Ngcobo joined the National Assembly in May 2019. He is currently the youngest member of the Democratic Alliance to occupy a position as an MP. Ngcobo was born and raised in Bulwer in the KwaZulu-Natal province.

Sibongiseni Ngcobo, Democratic Alliance
Sibongiseni Ngcobo is a member of the Democratic Alliance and a member of the National Assembly. Images: @SibongiseniNgc1
Source: Twitter

Before he was sworn in, Ngcobo served as a councillor at Richmond Local Municipality from 2016 to 2019. In an interview on SABC News, Ngcobo expressed that he has been passionate about politics since he was in primary school.

3. Naledi Chirwa - Economic Freedom Fighters

Naledi Chirwa is well known for her fiery personality, attitude and being very vocal about her beliefs. The 28-year-old joined the National Assembly when she was 25 years old in 2019, making her the youngest MP in her party at the time, reports TimesLIVE.

Naledi Chirwa, Economic Freedom Fighters
Naledi Chirwa joined the National Assembly in 2019 at the age of 25. Images: @NalediChirwa
Source: Twitter

Chirwa was a prominent figure during the Fees Must Fall protests in 2016 and she was even arrested. She studied drama at the University of Pretoria, however, the events in 2016 led to her suspension. Chirwa eventually graduated and is now studying for a Master's degree in drama.

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The young actor and feminist has been in the middle of controversy on social media, including the time she referred to President Cyril Ramaphosa as a 'small boy', which sparked a debate about respecting elders.

4. Mathew John Cuthbert - Democratic Alliance

Mathew Cuthbert has been occupying important positions in the Democratic Alliance for quite some time. The 28-year-old was nominated by his party to take a seat in the National Assembly in 2019 when he was just 25 years old.

Mathew John Cuthbert, Democratic Alliance
28-year-old Mathew John Cuthbert joined the National Assembly at the age of 25 in 2019. Images: @TheMatCuthbert
Source: Twitter

Before that, Cuthbert served as a DA young leader in 2014 and was also a member of the provincial executive in Gauteng. He is currently the Gauteng east regional executive and a branch leader at the University of Pretoria.

He holds a Bachelor of Political Science degree from the University of Pretoria and a postgraduate diploma in business from Wits University. He is now studying toward a Master's degree in economic policy at Wits.

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5. Nompendulo Mkhatshwa - African National Congress

Nompendulo Mkhatshwa is another young person who made a name for herself with her leadership in the first Fees Must Fall protest in 2015. While fighting for free education, Mkhatshwa was very vocal about her alliance with the governing party.

She became a well-known figure in the student protests and was even featured on the Destiny magazine cover where she posed wearing an ANC doek. The 28-year-old joined the National Assembly in 2019 while she was 25 years old.

Nompendulo Mkhatshwa, African National Congress
Nompendulo Mkhatshwa was one of the leaders of the Fees Must Fall protests in 2015 before joining Parliament in 2019. Images: @sthaa_msimang & @NoncebaMhlauli
Source: Twitter

She has been in the political sphere since 2013 while she was a student at Wits. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in geography, and also trying to obtain a postgraduate certificate in education from the Univeristy of South Africa.

Mkhatswa says she is passionate about issues that affect women and the youth. She has invested interests in education, the environment and the African continent.

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6. Thlologelo Malatji - African National Congress

29-year-old Thlogelo Malatji has been a member of the National Assembly since 2019. He was born in Tembisa, Johannesburg and pursued higher education at the University of Johannesburg and Wits University.

Thlologelo Malatji, African National Congress
ANC member Tlologelo Malatji joined the National Assembly in 2019. Images: @Collen_Malatji3
Source: Twitter

He is the former president of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS). He is also a member of the ANC regional executive committee and the ANC Youth League's regional convener.

7. Luyolo Mphiti - Democratic Alliance

Luyolo Mphiti has had an active political career in the Democratic Alliance since 2012. The 29-year-old was sworn in as an MP in 2019 and is the DA's shadow minister for women.

Luyolo Mphiti, Democratic Alliance
Luyolo Mphiti has been a member of Parliament since 2019. Image: @LuyoloMphithi
Source: Twitter

He is also part of the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political sciences, international relations and law from the University of Witswatersrand.

Mphiti also has a joint Honour's degree in international relations and political science. He is currently studying for a Master's degree in public administration at Wits.

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Top 10 youngest millionaires in South Africa 2022 (nett worth)

Briefly News previously reported that every human being has a unique talent or skill they can exploit to become rich. However, not everyone discovers their special ability during childhood or early adulthood.

The youngest millionaires in South Africa discovered and exploited their talents early. Today, they are featured among the most affluent people in the country.

Featuring on the list of the youngest millionaires in South Africa is no small feat. Numerous people desire to be as rich as the people on the list. These successful young people have inspiring stories and serve as role models for youth worldwide.

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