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How To Get Into (And Make Waves In) Government And Political Affairs

After working in a political environment for almost 16 years, Renee Thompson gradually transitioned into consulting. Her company Thompson Trust is a boutique government and political affairs advisory firm. Here, she talks to Go Hustle writer Ondela Mlandu about why she chose this type of work, and what you need to know to crack it in this industry.

Renee is passionate about making a difference in people’s lives…

Renee started an NGO with her three sisters called Susters 4 Life, with the aim of empowering women, especially single mothers in rural areas in the Western Cape. Other than her NGO, Thompson Trust provides hands-on strategic advice and support to clients based on advocacy, stakeholder positioning and outreach work.

Her advice on getting into the industry

A good place to start is in communication, stakeholder management, or government liaison, says Renee. “Two of the most important skills for this line of work [are] being able to work with people and [persistence]. My prior work experience made my transition into the lobbying and advocacy space a lot smoother,” she says.

How to apply for a career in politics

To get into politics or to work in parliament, follow parliament, the Presidency, government departments and various political parties on Twitter – it’s the best way to know when internships and positions are available. “Every year, parliament and different departments in government have intern positions for graduates, which are advertised on the parliamentary website. You can also register your CV with Parliament,” she advises.

Renee is a member of the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa (IoDSA), which offers amazing support in the form of networking opportunities, workshops, and lectures on business and good governance.

It’s still a tough career for women though

“[This industry] is still very male-dominated and, as females, we have to be more qualified than our male counterparts, while earning less than they do,” she adds.

Master these leadership lessons

1/ “Stop multitasking. Focus on what matters and where you can make a difference.”

2/ “From experience, I’ve learnt that it is carefully chosen actions that deliver the best results.”

3/ “Follow the news. Be informed about what is happening in the country.”

A book every woman should read…

Calm the F**K Down by Sarah Knight

Here’s how Renee does self-care

It’s all about spending time with her family and girl gang!

Renee Thompson



Thompson Trust has been appointed by the Theewaterskloof Municipality to implement RAPID Public Awareness Campaign to combat the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure that the regulations and safety measures reaches everyone and not only those with access to social media and television.

The Campaign will run on 15 and 16 May 2020, to mobilize public support in the fight against the corona virus and to urge all South Africans to stay at home, to remain vigilant about social distancing, to sanitize and wear a mask when leaving their homes.

Theewaterskloof municipality and its Mayor, Christelle Vosloo,wants to create a culture of awareness and prevention.

We commend the Mayor and her team for being proactive and determined to combat the spread of the virus and to prevent stigma against those who have tested positive. Following the 2 day RAPID Public Awareness campaign, recommendations and observations will be made to the municipality to identify areas where follow up intervention is need.

We are in this together.


Thompson Trust has been appointed by the Bergrivier Municipality to implement a COVID-19 Community Public Awareness Campaign throughout the Bergrivier Municipality from 06-8 May 2020 to mobilize public support in the fight against the corona virus and to urge South Africans to stay at home, be vigilant about social distancing, to sanitize and wear a mask.

Herewith is a summary of the campaign programme and official launch information regarding the Covid-19 campaign in Bergrivier. This will be the first of its kind and we want to thank Bergrivier Municipality for leading a grassroots municipal campaign against COVID-19 and not waiting for infections to spike.

Bergrivier municipality and it’s Executive Mayor, Alderman Ray van Rooyen, aims to create a culture of awareness, prevention and implementing community based adherence and support in the national fight against the corona virus.

We trust that other municipalities will follow suit and our team of specialist are ready to assist across the province.