Hendrietta is visually impaired (blind), married with three girls, two of whom are visually impaired. She is a disability rights, gender, children, youth and HIV & AIDS activist. She is also a policy analyst and developer, a trainer, researcher on disability, development and HIV and AIDS and a writer on disability with a number of publications under her name.
She holds the following qualifications:
Certificates in Introduction to microcomputer, Practical Journalism: Organizational development, Policy analysis and development, Direct Marketing; Leadership Communication, Sector Management; Action Research, Parliamentary Leadership and Inter-Governmental Relations from various institutions.
She also holds Diplomas in Word Processing from Optima College, B Tech in Public Relations, from Technikon Pretoria, and a Postgraduate studies in Communications from the University of Pretoria.
Currently, she is concluding her Masters Degree in Construction and Property Management from the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe.
In January 1996 she was employed by the Disabled People South Africa (DPSA) as the national co-ordinator for Disabled Women’s Development Programme. She is a founder of disabled women achiever award and co-founder of Disabled Youth South Africa.
She represented, led and made presentations on behalf of South Africa in a number of national, regional and international fora’s.
In June 1999 she joined the South African Parliament as a Member of the National Assembly and served on a number of committees including serving as a Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring Committee on the Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Youth, Children and Disabled Persons. She was re-elected for a second term and served as a member of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development between 2004 and 2009.
She is currently serving as Chairperson of the Inter - Parliamentary Union (IPU) Advisory Group on HIV and AIDS, UNAIDS review committee and the Co-Chair the UN Agenda for Women and Girls on HIV and AIDS.
In May 2009, she was re-elected for a third term to Parliament and appointed as Deputy Minister for Public Works. In October 2011 she was appointed at the Deputy Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, a position she currently holds.