Join Me - Register to Shape Our Political Future!
Today, I am calling on all South Africans to register with our new political party so that they can have a hand in shaping our political future.
Let’s be frank, when someone starts talking about electoral reform, most eyes tend to glaze over. It is not because the issue isn’t critical, it just sounds like a lot of talk and no action.
Electoral reform is a concept that is weighed down in the unsexy trifecta of democratic theory, legislation and court findings.
Yet, if we are honest with ourselves, the system of voting for political parties who chose the candidates to represent us is not working. Despite this, political parties continue to receive our votes and give us candidates who are ethically compromised, unskilled or in service to internal factionalism.
It should therefore not surprise anyone that 18.5 million people of voting age in South Africa did not vote in 2019, as opposed to the 17.5 million who did vote. These are South Africans who have lost faith in the political system and simply don’t see the point of voting.
If we want to change this, we need to change the system itself.
Forget the convoluted theory of academic notion of ‘electoral reform’. Let’s make this real.
I believe that you should get to vote for your choice of Presidential Candidate, your own Member of Parliament for your area, your own Mayor and your Councillor. In fact, if I had it my way, we should even be voting for regional heads of the NPA who we can hold to account for prosecutorial performance.
The road to this kind of systemic reform is long. It requires amendments to our Constitution, and for politicians to vote for a system of accountability that result in many of them losing their salaries and benefits – this is tantamount to the turkey setting the Christmas dinner table.
This is why the new party I will be launching on 29 August 2020, will take the approach of making electoral reform real. Less about talk and lofty concepts and more about tangible action.
Our new political party, while pushing for the Constitutional amendments that we need to see greater accountability for our public representatives, will run a system of primary elections where the residents of a given community will choose our candidates who will represent them on the ballot paper. Instead of making these decisions behind closed doors, we will ask the public to decide for themselves.
We are already developing an online system where South Africans can register with us. They will have the opportunity to suggest names of candidates who we should approach as excellent community servants. We will put those candidates forward in a primary election and any registered voter will be able to vote on who they want us to put on the ballot paper on election day. The candidates who emerge as the choices of communities will be our candidates when that day comes.
The same system will be used to measure the performance of those who represent communities. We will have performance contracts that will mean that should a community feel they are being failed by an elected representative of ours, they will be removed and replaced through the same system.
The implications of this, are profound and worth examining.
The candidates who emerge successfully from the support of their communities, will be civil servants and not servants of our political party. They will know that their first priority is the community, knowing that if they fail to serve their residents, they will be removed and replaced. Should they face the choice of what is right for the community versus what is write for internal political interests, they will choose the community.
The quality of candidates standing to represent you will improve. If you want better public representatives, people who act on their promises, put the power in the hands of those who they are meant to serve. Communities can be trusted to choose the best candidates, more than any political party. They know their needs and they know their requirements of a representative who will take action.
So many people approach me asking if they can be Councillors, MPs, Mayors or some other position. My answer is always; “that will depend on whether the communities you want to represent, want you to represent them.” Even as the leader of this party, or anyone else in the party for that matter, will not have any power to push candidates forward. This takes away the political patronage that dominates politics in South Africa.
When I examine the calibre of political representatives in South Africa, it makes for grim review.
So many of the so-called public representatives in South Africa I have met, have never managed people. They have never built or grown a business. They have never served in an organisation that provides effective community service. Yet, they are trusted to manage our country, provinces and municipalities and the billions of Rands that flow between them?
That is why today I am calling on all South Africans to take action and register with us to be part of this political revolution.
I am calling on all South Africans to register with our new political party so that they can have a hand in shaping our political future.
We can make this platform available to you, but it will ultimately benefit communities only to the extent to which people participate within it.
This is why I am asking South Africans to start registering with us today. You can do this in 2 minutes by going to https://j.thepeoplesdialogue.org.za/
As a country, we face great hardships brought about by our broken political system. This system will continue to fail us as a country as long as we allow it to continue without our direct involvement.
I cannot help but get the sense, that the mood in South Africa has changed and now, more than ever before, is the time to take action and build the country we know if possible.