LETTER: ANC must do its duty
After reading Kevin Malunga (ANC must make Parliament accountable to the people, June 27 ) one was left with the question: Do the people care about the institutional design of the electoral system or about the human and political capital to deliver within any electoral system?
It is easy to disagree with Mr Malunga's assertion that "the time is right to have another look at the electoral system" so as to introduce "measures that will give the electorate a greater hand in removing non-delivering MPs".
One, the problem of ineptitude, inefficiency and low-to-no public consultation by parliamentarians is neither inherent in the institutional design of the electoral system, nor will a different electoral system be the answer to these problems.
Two, the problem of non-delivering MPs is not simply the failure of individual MPs, as individual MPs are not omnipotent and they work within complex and laborious systems of governance and administration which are sometimes cumbersome.
Doubtless, there are as many unproductive MPs, just as there are incompetent and lazy bureaucrats in the public service.
Now, who is to be removed first for non-delivery where there is possibly a systemic and state-wide lack of competency and ability to deliver?
Mr Malunga could have simplified things by defining how to measure "non-delivering MPs". Does it refer to the number of times MPs interact or fail to consult with their constituency offices? Does it refer to the delivery, or lack thereof, of tangible services such as water, houses, good quality education in the MPs constituencies or during the MPs' parliamentary tenure?
The solution to "monitoring the monitors" is not to change the electoral system. Mr Malunga does point to some of the corrective steps that must be taken in this regard: regularly capacitate and train legislators to understand the democratic purpose of Parliament and to be technically competent and politically professional to execute Parliament's constitutional mandate.
The ANC as a dominant party has a responsibility to induce and inject a sense of public duty into its legislators across the country.
Its electoral future partly depends on this.
Bhobhoyi, Ward 23
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