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Profile of Hon Lechesa Tsenoli, MP, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly

Current Positions

Mr Lechesa Tsenoli was elected Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa in May 2014.

He is currently a member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party (SACP).

His constituency is Botshabelo in Free State.

Positions Last Held

Mr Tsenoli served as Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform from October 2011 and then as Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs from July 2013 until the May 2014 elections.

From 1999 to 2004 he served as the Member of Executive Council responsible for Local Government and Housing in the Free State Provincial Government.

As a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 1999, and after his return in 2004, Mr Tsenoli has served on the following Committees:

  • Portfolio Committee on the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), later becoming chairperson.
  • Portfolio Committee on Constitutional Development and Local Government
  • Portfolio Committee on Housing
  • Ad Hoc Committee in Represented Political Parties
  • Special Ministerial Committee on the Transformation of the Independent Development Trust (IDT)
  • Special Ministerial Committee on Removing Obstacles to Housing Delivery
  • Special Ministerial Political Committee on the White Paper on Local Government
  • Inter-Ministerial Committee on HIV/AIDS
  • Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture as Chairperson
  • Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government (now Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs), a position he chaired from 2004 to 2011 when he was appointed Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform.

Personal History

Mr Tsenoli has a long history of political activism in communities, youth and civic organisations.

He was the Publicity Secretary of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in Natal, the founding National Deputy President and later President of the South African National Civics Organisation (SANCO) and was an active member of the ANC underground.

He was associated with and later served as Chairperson of the Khanya African Institute for Community-Driven Development from 2001 to 2009.

From 2009 to 2013 Mr Tsenoli served on the board of directors of the Isandla Institute, a public interest think tank concerned with democratic urban settlements and convenor of a number of dialogue initiatives, such as the Good Governance Learning Network.

Mr Tsenoli has certificates in adult education, public policy, facilitation and is a graduate of The International Program of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland on Organisation and Systems Development. Below is a list of some of the certificates he has acquired:

  • Systems Thinking & Capacity Development for Leadership & Transformation
  • Certified Practitioner for Groups in Trauma Release Exercise
  • Effective Leadership in 21st Century
  • Thinking Partnership Course
  • Facilitating Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues
  • The Cape Cod Training programme
  • Organisation and systems Development
  • Thinking Skills Training Workshop
  • Development Planning for Community Leaders
  • Advanced Facilitator Training
  • HIV/AIDS Leadership for Results
  • Development and Public Policy
  • Programme of Instruction for Lawyers
  • Community Adult Education