Neela Hoosain grew up in East London and was an activist in her school days, working within the student, youth, civic and trade union organisations. She was a representative in One City Talks in Port Elizabeth and a delegate to the Local Government Negotiating Forum. Neela Served as advisor in CODESA in the working group on Constitutional Principles and Constitution-Making Body and Processes. She also served as Member of the inaugural Provincial Legislature (Eastern Cape) and served as MEC for Education, Sport, Arts and Culture and Deputy Chief Whip. She retired after 3 terms. She was Board member of Brand South Africa for one term. Neela lives in Port Elizabeth with her three children.