Former DA Johannesburg mayor and founder of The People’s Dialogue, Herman Mashaba, has called for electoral reform, in order for politicians to answer to their constituents instead of their respective political parties.
Following his departure from the DA, Mashaba has criss-crossed the country in a campaign to engage communities through dialogue, ahead of the launch of his new party.
In a report dated 21 April, Mashaba said the campaign solicited 2.4 million engagements and 125 000 submissions.
An overhaul of the political system, which would culminate in electoral reform, was expressed by participants, the report said.
“Participants believe that the current electoral system does not provide the level of democratic accountability that is required for the country. Political office holders are not directly accountable to their constituents, but rather to their political parties and often to a small group of political elites,” the report reads.
The report details how the ANC has been guilty of maintaining corrupt, under-performing officials, and there is no accountability.
“The party is in control of most of the state mechanisms of accountability and oversight, so there is very little genuine oversight.”
Mashaba also engaged communities on the economy, with the report detailing the number of participants calling for a market-based economy, which would limit the interference of politicians.
“In essence, government should limit interference in economic issues to the prevention of exploitation.”
The report adds that participants found the current government’s approach towards the economy to be over-regulated and unnecessarily bureaucratic.
In his remarks, Mashaba said the report provided a powerful platform to building an alternative platform.
“As we begin to work in developing policies, and a solutions blueprint to South Africa’s biggest challenges and opportunities, we will now begin a process of engaging subject experts in the respective fields,” he said.