Call to overhaul Gauteng ward committees

2014-10-25 22:52
ANC supporters out in force outside Luthuli House. (ANC, Twitter)

ANC supporters out in force outside Luthuli House. (ANC, Twitter)

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Johannesburg - The ward committee system in Gauteng needs to be reviewed to prevent the system from being used as a front for political battles, human settlements MEC Jacob Mamabolo said on Saturday.

"Ward committees are not a platform for anyone to launch a political career," he said in a statement.

"Ward committees should not be used as opposition parties or as a launching pad to campaign for political positions. Ward committees must not act as parallel structures to compete with local councillors."

He was expected to address the Ward-Based Stakeholder Consultative Conference convened by the City of Tshwane. The conference was set to review the city's draft by-law on ward committees.

Mamabolo said the current system had many problems and was open to being manipulated to serve political interests instead of effectively promoting meaningful public participation.

"The purpose of ward committees must be properly explained so that it is not abused. These committees are voluntary organs for popular participation and people's power," Mamabolo said.

He said many ordinary citizens were being excluded through the current system.

Mamabolo called for ward committees to include voting districts, blocks and street committees in order to effectively promote real participation of the residents in local government.

"We should make sure that the ward committee system represents all the households and we should explore how we could include ordinary citizens such as professionals, students, academics and any other citizens who can be able to add value", he said.

Mamabolo added that ward committees should enhance people's participation on matters related to government across all the three spheres of government.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  politics

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