NORTHERN CAPE Provincial legislature
HAROLD McGLUWA, MPL
Hon Speaker what a year it has been for South Africa. 2012 has shown us the good, the bad, the ugly, and indeed the very ugly. 2012 has been a year of great prosperity for some, and a year of great misery for many of our fellow South Africans. Indeed 2012 has produced quite the mixed bag of results and outcomes.
Hon Speaker I will not stand here and presume to have been privy to the whole years’ worth of activities in this august House. However even in the short time as a Member, there are some experiences and insights I feel I can share with the rest of my elected and duly able colleagues.
Since taking up office, one of the most important questions I have asked myself as Leader of the ID is, what type of public representative do I want to be? I believe the manner by which we conduct ourselves as elected representatives, says A LOT about how much respect we have for the electorate and the people of the province as a whole.
Am I the same person in this Chamber, at a party rally, at a town-hall meeting, or even with my family? Do I treat others with the respect to which I would expect them to treat me?
Hon Speaker I ask these questions because I am hoping that each Member seated here today is internalizing, and perhaps asking the same question to themselves.
I believe that we are here for a purpose. We are here to be the eyes for a public who have had the truth concealed from them. To be the ears for a public that seeks to hear the truth, and to be the mouth-piecefor a public which seeks to have their voices heard on issues that affect them. For ultimately, there can be nothing for them without them.
Poor Year for Government
The ID has sought to make sure that we make our mark in holding this executive, and to a degree this legislature, to account. We asked the tough questions, scrutinized their actions, and more importantly, based our criticisms not on their intentions, but on their outcomes.
Hon Speaker if we are to be honest, their outcomes as an administration have been poor. We have seen a year in which this administration has failed to reach many of its targets in the last financial year, and according to the auditor-general, has seen a regression in the overall audit outcomes of the province.
We need to ask ourselves what went wrong with the executive, and what have we as the Legislature done about this? Can we honestly say we are proud of this situation? Surely the residents deserve better.
We fundamentally need to adopt a new approach in dispatching our duties. We need to become the agents of change and progress that our people expect us to be. We need to become an oversight body which plays a more pro-active, as opposed to reactive role. Speaker, we need to become an Activist Legislature.
We need to break the culture of mediocrity. At this rate how can we expect to be the engine of democracy and socio-economic development of a province? We must recognize that we are largelyindifferent, andnot as in-tune with the mood of the people as we should be.
Let us supportcitizens to continue to exercise their democratic rights.We need to remain concerned and fully engaged in the political decision-making process, and in shaping the present and future of this province.
The ID is encouraged by the recent attempts of National Parliament and the Legislature to develop a Public Participation framework. However, such a framework will be meaningless if the overall culture of the Legislative Sector does not change.
Hon Speaker, in conclusion,allow me to wish our colleagues in the ANC well for their upcoming Elective Conference, surely the outcomes of which may be a surprise for some.