High time politicians put SA first

Given what our parliamentarians end up fighting over, it is clear that the people are not at the centre of their politics, the writer says.
Given what our parliamentarians end up fighting over, it is clear that the people are not at the centre of their politics, the writer says.
Image: GCIS

A democracy can be noisy, chaotic and even uncomfortable. But it remains the best system of governance.

It works best with a plurality of voices competing for support from the electorate.

Ours is a thriving democracy, some will say one of the best in the world.

We saw it play itself out in parliament last night as President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his State of the Nation Address.

Once again it was a dramatic event with the EFF disrupting the proceedings. This time they were objecting to former president FW de Klerk's presence in the public gallery. They were also demanding that Ramaphosa fire public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.

While the EFF has every right to express its unhappiness in the House, the disruptions were misplaced.

SA is faced with serious problems, not least of which is a sluggish economy that is unable to create the much-needed jobs for the youth, black youth specifically.

Our elected public representatives should be doing all in their power in parliament to come out with solutions to the problems facing our country and its people today.

But given what our parliamentarians end up fighting over, it is clear that the people are not at the centre of their politics.

They are more obsessed with point-scoring against each other and arguing about the past.

Meanwhile, our country's economy continues to stagnate while the rest of other medium-size countries are prospering.

The majority of South Africans are living through hardship and they are relying on those who wield power, whether on the ruling party benches or in the opposition, to use their power to help improve their lives.

We all talk of the nine wasted years of the Jacob Zuma administration.

But unless our parliamentarians change their ways and focus on what matters, rather than point- scoring through populist gimmicks, we will again look back at the current period as another "wasted" five to nine years.

Democracy need not mean that everything stands still while politicians try to outshine each other during sittings of the House of Assembly.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X