Make government accountable

2015-04-30 14:31

ONE way of showing dissatisfaction against exorbitant increases in the price of fuel, electricity, water sanitation and taxes is to protest.

How ironical it seems when there are service delivery protests, roads are blocked and vehicles stoned. Those workers on their way to work are contributing to the sustenance of this struggling economy via their taxes. Its a case of the tail wagging the dog.

South Africa is becoming a welfare state with almost 16.5 million people on some form of social security. Therefore there is so much pressure on taxpayers to sustain these social security grants.

SARS has so much power it goes into your bank account and takes out your money owed to it. Taxpayers are easy targets. Taxpayers’ money can be used productively if unscrupulous corruption is curbed. The R30 billion lost annually through corruption and incompetence can be used to build houses for people living in the squatter and transit camps. This will reduce the number of service delivery protests and enhance their quality of life. Another option that can be explored is bringing back the independent body like the Hawks who can deal with corrupt government officials without fear or favour.

A clear message must be sent to government during these protests.

• Theft and corruption must be eradicated.

• Those involved in corrupt activities must be sent to jail.

• A proper adjudication process for tenders. There must be an independent body that has the knowledge and expertise who must be in charge of all tenders. There should be no tenders for pals.

• Mechanisms must be put into place to eliminate theft of water and electricity.

• All government officials must sign performance agreements and know exactly what their portfolios entail. Non-performing officials must be fired as they are accountable to taxpayers.

• Reduce the number of members going to cabinet from 400 to 200.

• Cadre deployment and redeployment must be eradicated at all costs.

• The two power stations of Medupi and Khusela must be investigated as to why they are running so far behind and costing billions of rands over-budget.

• Eskom needs to become proactive and sort out the energy requirements of South Africa. Alternative methods of sourcing energy needs to explored.

• Salaries and perks of ministers must be slashed. The state of our country is evidence to this. We have an electricity crisis, an impending water crisis, daily service delivery protests, an almost stagnant economy and some of our institutions, like the police services, are engaging in court battles.

It is time to collectively demand answers. Government understands only one language and that is the language of protest. The escalation of prices and exorbitant taxes that government collects has to be questioned. The buck has to stop somewhere. The taxpayer cannot be sucked dry of every ounce of blood. It is taxpayers’ rights to demand transparency and accountability from government.

vijay surujpal

Via email

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