ANC Parliamentary Caucus is saddened by the passing of the Member of Parliament, Hon. Violet Sizani Siwela

18 January 2024

The ANC Parliamentary Caucus is deeply saddened by the passing of Comrade Violet Sizani ‘Mam Vee’ Siwela, a Member of Parliament who chaired the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development.

Comrade Siwela was a dedicated educator, having spent almost three decades in the teaching profession before she ventured into politics. Starting as a ward councillor for the ANC in the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality, she rose through the ranks and between 2005 and 2019, she held a range of positions in the Mpumalanga legislature, including as a Member of the Executive Council for Agriculture from 2013 to 2014, Member of the Executive Council for Human Settlements from 2014 to 2016 and later served as Speaker of the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature from March 2018 until May 2019.

She was elected to the National Assembly in the 2019 general election. She served her political party, the African National Congress, with dedication and commitment through her various positions as Deputy Provincial Chairperson of the Mpumalanga ANC from December 2015 until December 2017. She was elected to the National Executive Committee in 2017 and again in 2022. She also served on the NEC of the ANC Women’s League.

Mam Vee was passionate about serving the people, ensuring that she served with humility and enthusiasm in whichever position she was appointed. Her notable contributions as a servant of the people, particularly to the small business and cooperative enterprises community, will be dearly missed but always remembered.

Her lasting legacy includes the introduction of the National Small Enterprise Amendment Bill in 2023 to amend the National Small Enterprise Act of 1996. This bill was close to her heart, and she had lobbied for it for many years. Her achievements as Portfolio Committee Chairperson included robust oversight of the department and state enterprises, lobbying for increased funding for small enterprises and cooperatives, and government support interventions during the devastating COVID19 pandemic and the July 2021 unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Comrade Siwela also chaired the Powers and Privileges Committee. She even joined the Zoom meeting of the Committee on Monday while she was in her hospital bed. Her level of dedication was unequalled, so much so that she felt she had to be present in her last Committee meeting while she was gravely ill.

Mam Vee had a motherly touch but was always firm. That is why every member of the ANC Parliamentary Caucus is deeply hurt by her loss.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family and loved ones during this great sorrow.

Issued by the Office of the Chief Whip

For enquiries, please contact the Chief Whip:

Hon. Pemmy Majodina (082 419 1616)