IN A democracy it is the function of members of legislatures to represent the people who voted for them, or who ask for their help, and to ensure that the sittinggovernment attends to theirconcerns and explains itself when it fails to do so.
This requires commitment from the member and the willingness of the government minister or MEC to engage with the people about these issues because it is part of the job for which they are paid.
The record of Gauteng MEC for housing Kgaogelo Lekgoro falls woefully short of this.
I have been trying for nearly a year to secure an appointment with him to discuss concerns that constituents have raised with me. These include the state of the housing waiting list, lease agreements, title deeds and allegations of corruption that have been brought to my attention.
Numerous faxes, e-mails and phone calls have been directed at his office, but these have typically been ignored or met with hand-wringing about how the MEC is too busy.
On the three occasions when I have been able to secure appointments, these have been cancelled at the last moment - once without even informing me.
We should remember that it is the poor, and often the desperate of our society, who need state support for housing.
A house is a potentially life-changing and the largest asset most people will ever own. Failure to provide housing, or abuse of this system, has been a major driver of protests.
The MEC needs to remember that in snubbing a member of the legislature - of whatever party - he is snubbing the people of the province.
Bev Abrahams MPL, Gauteng DA