Profile of MEC Agriculture & Rural Development

  Ms.M.G.QabatheAn avid political activist and former unionist who has campaigned for workers’ rights and contributed immensely in the political development in the province, Motlagomang ‘Mamiki’ Qabathe is the former MEC for the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs. She is currently the MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, a position that she accepted with the same sense of humility and unwavering determination to carry out her task with utmost diligence.

Qabathe is not new to this portfolio, she was appointed MEC for Agriculture in January 2008, Sport, Arts and Culture in October 2008, and rejoined Agriculture in December 2009. She was appointed MEC for Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements in February 2011. Qabathe, whose political axle and drive is her focus on the grassroots, believes that she must always act in alignment with the needs of communities she serves and thus, to meet these needs, always hit the ground running, as the delay of the development agenda cannot be accepted.

She was born at Hennenman and grew up in Meloding, Virginia, in the Free State. Qabathe is married and is blessed with three children. She was introduced to student politics in 1986 while studying at Vista University in Bloemfontein, when she joined the Azanian Student Organisation (AZASO). Qabathe was employed at the Meloding Town Council in 1987. She soon took part in the fight for the rights of the workers who at the time were un-unionised. A year later, she was recruited to the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) and quickly rose through the ranks to the different levels of leadership. Qabathe became an area shop stewards council’s treasurer and later ascended to the position of Provincial Treasurer of SAMWU.

At one stage, she served as a Regional Treasurer of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) for the Free State and Northern Cape region and was elected the Second Deputy President of SAMWU. She also served in the provincial and the national bargaining forum of the municipal sector. In 2000, she formed part of the provincial African National Congress (ANC) Interim Leadership Core (ILC) that was established to inter alia revitalise and realign structures of the ANC in the Free State. Qabathe was part of the first crop of democratic municipal leaders as she became the first Executive Mayor of the Lejweleputswa District Municipality. She is currently a member of the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) and the Provincial Working Committee (PWC) of the ANC in the Free State Province and also serves on the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) of the ANC Women’s League in the Free State. She formerly chaired the Portfolio Committee on Local Government and Housing, and served on several other committees.