INXUBA Yethemba’s newly elected mayor, Noncedo Zonke, is a well-known resident of Middelburg, where she taught at St Boniface Primary School for 16 years while also serving on various committees in town.
Although she said that the election as mayor was a big surprise, she has been involved in committee work since the age of 18, when she was in Grade 12 at Healdtown High School in Fort Beaufort and became the leader and secretary of the ANC’s Congress of Student Organisations.
Zonke, who lived with her grandparents at that stage, was detained in prison for four months in her matric year and as a result of this could not write her final school examination. After her release she joined her mother, a school teacher at Beaufort West, and passed matric there.a
“After school I worked as a domestic servant for a Jewish family. After they heard my story, they helped me to continue my studies at Dr W.B. Rubasana College of Education, where I got my teacher’s diploma in 1993. At that time I was a full-time student who worked for the family during holidays,” she said.
In 1994, Zonke started her teaching career in Middelburg, where she served the community in various ways.
She was then deployed by the ANC to become speaker of IYM for three years before, again, being deployed by the ANC to become their regional secretary from 2009 to 2014.
“I applied to be director of youth development and mobilisation at the national Department of Social Development, where I worked until March 2019, when I applied to the Department of Integrated Planning and Economic Development, where I worked until I was elected mayor of IYM,” she said.
During this time she went on various short courses, including a municipal finance programme and a course in executive leadership, at the University of Pretoria.
“Being elected as mayor of IYM came as a surprise, but I did work for the ANC from a very young age,” she said.
Her husband, also an IYM councillor, passed away in an accident a while ago and Zonke now lives with her four children and also looks after three of her deceased sister’s children and two of her deceased brother’s children. She has two grandchildren, who live with her.
“Although my time in Cradock is short before the next election, I want to work to fix the farm roads and towards cleanliness of the dumping sites in Lingelihle and Michausdal.
“My mission is also to renovate Cradock Spa to again attract tourists and improve the commonage for emerging farmers.
“I am especially interested in youth and woman development and people with disabilities, but because of the coronavirus I will not be able to consult with them at the present time,” she said.
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