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Elise Hirsch
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Our South African democracy - is this the answer?

17 March 2014, 17:28

After 20 years of, “so called” Democratic Freedom and 4 Free Elections we still experience, more than ever, rampant corruption, crass nepotism, unacceptable crime rate, lack of proper education, poor health care, being held to ransom by trade unions, incompetent and corrupt police, lack of housing, self-interest, xenophobia, joblessness, the Escom Debacle, and Party interests above National interests.

We still have unacceptable number of our people living in dire poverty, and in spite of all the false promises and misleading information this situation continues to regress. Why is this so when we have the innate talents to be one of the leading nations of the world – we have the best climate, a plethora of Natural Resources, the best infrastructure in Africa and no threat of enemies?

Now that the Elections are looming up we pause to consider is this really the best system we can devise?

It is generally accepted that our “so called” democracy is the best system of government available.

In South Africa the “tyranny of the minority has been replaced by the tyranny of the majority”

We have seen that in Egypt a “so-called” Democratic Election resulted in a vote of 51% over 49% has led to disastrous results leading to violence and an uncompromising standoff.

This has led to a litany of failed portfolios such as Education, Health, Crime Prevention, Housing shortage, Power Failure, Land Reclamation, Trade Union activity and slow Justice delivery.

Is there possibly a better, fairer and more effective available solution? I believe so.

The brilliant writer and playwright, Sir George Bernard Shaw, in one of his essays, proposed a more equitable and fair solution, without reverting to a Party System and leading truly to a government “of the people” , “by the people” –and I mean. ALL the people without resorting to confrontational politicking!

He proposed that all the recognised portfolios such as Health, Education, Trade, Defence, etc... etc.. Be addressed as follows:

Let’s take Education, for example.

The leading representative institutions of Education, such as accredited and representatives’ heads of Universities and Academic Institutions country-wide, select theie top 5 or so candidates for the cabinet Portfolio of Education. Similarly, the leading credited representative leaders of Health such as Medical Schools, Hospital heads etc. Select their 5 or so of the best candidates to head the Cabinet Portfolio of Health, and so on and so on forth Defence, Trade, housing, agriculture, etc...  

Thereafter, the people as a whole can go to the elections to vote for their preferred candidate of choice. The cabinet is then consequently constituted of amongst the best experts in their respective fields, and certainly not as leaders appointed mainly for their loyalty to the ruling party and who are, more often than not, do not have a clue how to effectively handle their respective Portfolios without the necessary expertise. 

The successful Ministers may then appoint their respective Deputy Ministers and so on, down the line.

Each District to vote for their own local constituent representative, voted for in the same way.

Truly, we would have in place a government “for the people” “by the people”.

We then can obviate the huge un-necessary expense of Party Politicking, nasty backbiting and Party overhead costs and with the necessary skills in place, get down to the business of improving the lot of ALL the people, hopefully with all the necessary skills and without the endemic nepotism and rampant corruption we are presently being burdened with.

Add to this a large and real dollop of “UBUNTU” in action and not only with empty words

With the elections eminent this may give us all serious food for thought.


Concerned Citizen

OSCAR HIRSCH                            

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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