Public participation unit and the ANC are making a mockery of our democracy        

Bosman Grobler DA MPL

On Friday 15 August 2014 the Legislature of Mpumalanga will host the Woman’s parliament. This event forms part of our Women’s Month celebration.

The ANC has however chosen to politicise the matter and use the event as a party political event. Parties represented in the legislature were asked to nominate speakers for this event, in the same proportion as represented in the legislature. Messages of support will be given by each speaker. Although the composition of the house for Woman’s parliament is according to proportion representation as in the legislature, the same cannot be said for the representation in the public gallery.

Here the public participation unit allows no proportional representation and allows only woman identified through ANC constituency offices to attend the event. Neither the DA nor any other party represented in the legislature are allowed to invite members to sit in the gallery.

The Public Participation unit is as cunning as a fox using a number of excuses for not allowing all parties to invite gallery participants. Examples of these excuses are:

  1. It was a committee decision.
  2. The district and regional workshops held to identify gallery members were open to all individuals.
  3. Women’s parliament is for ordinary woman and should not be politicised.

The facts are:

  1. Communication for these workshops was done exclusively through ANC structures.
  2. The Public Participation Unit is doing everything in its power to prevent all parties from being represented through their poor communication and failure to engage with honourable members from all parties.
  3. The unit is also not consistent in the organising of sectorial parliaments, as the DA was allowed 30 gallery members for Youth Parliament in June.
  4. The Public Participation Unit and the legislature as an institution is allowing itself to be used by the ANC for the advancement of ANC interest.

This practice and the unprofessionalism of our institution are making a mockery of our democracy and we will not idle and watch the ANC misuse public funds for party self-interest.

I thank you