SA should follow France and cut the number of MPs
If you have a look at the chaos that ensues in parliament, it’s not like anything substantial is being achieved in Cape Town anyway.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s promise this week to cut the number of the country’s MPs by a third has been met with mixed reactions.
On Monday, in his first address to members of the National Assembly and Senate since his election in May, Macron said he wanted to shift their political system by cutting the number of lawmakers in both houses of parliament – 577 in the lower house National Assembly and 348 in the Senate – by a third.
By doing this, he said “it would have positive effects on the general quality of parliamentary work”.
“Until now, we were too often on the wrong track,” said Macron, at 39, France’s youngest president. “We preferred procedures to results, rules to initiative, a society where you live off inherited wealth, to a just society.”
A brave stance indeed, and one that will always be welcomed by the people – the taxpayers – but not by all the politicians.
South Africa has 400 seats in the National Assembly in parliament, less than the French. But France has the sixth largest economy in the world. SA is considerably lower on the world list of best GDPs and is in a constant tussle with Nigeria to rule as Africa’s largest economy.
Should South Africa follow in France’s footsteps and trim their MPs? Why not? In a time where the public are feeling the pinch every day, and corruption makes the headlines more often than not, taxpayers would welcome such a decision. If you have a look at the chaos that ensues in parliament in recent times, it’s not like anything substantial is being achieved in Cape Town anyway.
The lowest salary an MP in the National Assembly or National Council of Provinces earns is just over R1 million a year, or R86 120 a month. Just imagine how the money saved could be put to better use.
Imagine how many houses, schools and hospitals could be built with that money. Imagine how the quality of people’s lives could improve.
Maybe Macron is on to something …