Herman Mashaba releases final report after weeks of dialogue, calls for electoral reform

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.

Limit interference of politicians

“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.

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