5 promises that should be in all political manifestos but are not

2019-04-04 10:33

It's election time, politicians are accessible, hopping on trains with common man, promising us land, claiming to be effective in their governance and blaming foreign nationals for the poor services delivery for good measure. They are saying everything they think we need to hear but none is saying the truth about the real theory of change required to turn this beautiful country around.

Well, that’s not surprising though, by now we are very much aware that politicians are self-serving, unreliable and highly incompetent in their behaviour, actions and relations with their followers. I have been listening to different political parties but none is resonating with me and saying anything of substance. I therefore decided to write back to them on the 5 things that a true political party of choice should put on their manifesto.

1. We will deliver or give you our resignations

Faith Mazibuko said a lot of things wrong on the combi courts video but she was right in one thing, if you can’t deliver, you must resign. If our politicians were truly serious about their intentions, they would put in their manifesto that if they fail to deliver, they will step down. That under their leadership there will be clear performance objectives which are broken down into short term goals and long-term goals during the 5-year term. They would promise that they would share those goals with the people and give 6 monthly report on the goals. They would also promise that should they not deliver according to their goals within two years if it’s a coalition government and one year if it’s a majority rule, they would step down and we can have another election. It is incredibly wrong to stay in a role if you are not delivering assuming one has a sense of pride.

2. All government employees will by contractual obligations use public services

The only time we are going to get effective service delivery is when government employees use public services, it should be mandated that everyone who works for government from president to IT administrator and their immediate families should use public resources as part of their employment contract and failure to do so constituents dismissal. If the ministers, MECs schooled their children at public schools, used public hospitals, this poor service delivery and lawlessness would not happen. This rule will immediately sieve those who want to serve in government from those who want to be paid to twiddle their thumbs.

3. Corruption will be punished through jail sentence, paying back the money and black list

Whether its private sector or public sector, corruption will be dealt with decisively. We cannot have banks involved in mischievous activities and only be warned with a meagre fine, neither can we have people misusing government funds only to be moved from one department to another in efforts to protect them from their misconduct. We need to establish a strong culture of anti-corruption with serious punitive measures.

4. Provisions of clear systems to hold the government accountable for services

When you open your tap and brown water comes through what do you do? When the roads in your area are bad what do you do? When crime in your area is bad what do you do, well currently you call power.

FM or 702. This cannot be a way of life. We need a system of holding these leaders accountable and also having access to them. We can’t have people visiting our homes to get votes with strong knowledge that the next time we see them again is when they want votes again, it’s a terrible parasitic relationship and the fact that we are experiencing this over and over again means we are dealing with people who are shameless with the moral conduct of a used gum on the floor.

5. Tax refunds under gross corrupt governance

Helen Zille does not always say things right but she was onto something on boycotting to pay tax. We need a government that values our money and commits that we will be refunded our tax if the money is abused. We cannot have irregular expenditures amounting to R11 billion (2008/2009), R50 billion (2017/2018) as some of examples of government incompetence and still be expected to pay tax with pride. We need responsible leadership which is accountable.

I can’t seem to find a leadership theory that relates to the selfishness, disregard, lies, incompetence, lack of sense of purpose that is displayed in our political leadership. True leadership is sine qua non with a sense of purpose, positive impact and building something that will be useful to generations to come.

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