News - Date: 22 June 2012
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Newly elected provincial DA leader Jacques Smalle regards teamwork among all generations as an important key to succeed on the way to a prosperous Limpopo. He replaces Desireé van der Walt after a closely contested election at the party’s Limpopo congress in Polokwane last Saturday.
Smalle (41) says he regularly engages with older people and experienced professional and business people. He is also highly appreciative of the innovative ideas of the young and of tertiary students. “South Africa is a youthful nation, and Limpopo a youthful province. We must capitalise on the power of the youth in order to effect positive change for this province and for the country as a whole,” reads Smalle's maiden speech as DA Limpopo leader.
Under his leadership, the Limpopo youth desk DAY/DASO will be established, with a central budget. An appointment will be made of a dedicated community operations manager (COM), whose objective will be the growth of DAY membership, devising and implementing strategies and organising programmes of action. “We will treat SRC elections in exactly the same manner as we treat by-elections, both from a political and budgetary process … and we will establish a streamlined and efficient membership system that will focus on youth assistance,” says Smalle.
Smalle was born on 28 June 1970 in the Louis Trichardt Memorial Hospital. He finds rest and peace in the Soutpansberg where his wife, Heidi, stays on the farm, with their youngest son Juan (11). The eldest, the 15-year-old Pierre, is at Stanford College.
Smalle started his political career in 2000 as a councillor in Oudtshoorn, where a good mentor taught him “to listen first and speak last”. From 2006 he was a councillor in the Makhado Municipality and also an EXCO member. In 2009 he found himself caucus leader in the Limpopo Legislature, where he assisted SCOPA (Standing Committee on Public Accounts) to grill several departments about financial maladministration.
In October 2010 he became a member of the National Assembly, where he submitted two draft legislations, one an amendment on the National Lottery Act to have an application-based awarding of the money and to implement a system based on accountability and transparency. In parliament, he was the DA shadow deputy minister of trade and industry and lately of energy. “It was a privilege to be in parliament where the quality of information is good and the DGs are open with their reports. The government’s provincial departments sometimes shy away from revealing the content of reports and are therefore not open and transparent,” says Smalle.
The new DA leader has great ideals for Limpopo. “We have committed ourselves to 197 000 votes in our province. This is 110 000 more votes than in the last election ... This will require dedication, hard work and a constant flow of new ideas from all of us ... We will not fail this province, we will not fail our supporters, and we will not fail South Africa,” Smalle said in his speech.