‘Say no to selective service delivery’

2010-12-08 00:00

ELECTED public representatives should embrace service delivery for everyone, including members of the public who did not vote for them during the elections.

This is the view of the Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise, Ben Dikobe Martins, in his presentation at the launch of the Community Hall Dialogues held at Elangeni Hotel in Durban yesterday.

Yesterday’s dialogue, titled “Participation Beyond the Elections”, was organised by Ingabadi Group in conjunction with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in KwaZulu-Natal and the Institute of Global Dialogue.

Martins shared the first panel session of the dialogue with the chairperson of the National Assembly’s select committee on public accounts, African People’s Convention (APC) president, Themba Godi, and KZN deputy speaker Mtholephi Mthimkhulu.

He emphasised that political party representatives have to be responsible for service delivery not only to the people who voted them in but to the entire South African public.

“The greatest test of our democracy is to ensure that individuals elected into office embrace service delivery, without fear or favour, to the entire public of the country.

“It looks like in our democracy we still need to reach that level of serving the people beyond political party lines.”

Martins dismissed ongoing proposals that national and provincial lawmakers can be held accountable only if the country adopts the constituency electoral system.

“We currently have the ward system for our local government electoral system.

“Does that make ward councillors accountable to their wards?” Martins asked.

“It’s the quality of people that give us services that needs to be looked at,” he said.

Godi outlined the important role of the parliament’s portfolio committees between the elections, saying that, among other things, they ensure that services are brought to the entire public.

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