Local residents associations under the banner of Residents Associations Coalition for Electoral Reforms (RACER) has expressed anger over the lack of transparency, accountability and responsiveness among elected leadership which has seen limited access to basic services and the deterioration of service provision in local communities.
Addressing a press conference yesterday, RACER Spokesperson Marvelous Khumalo said residents are tired over perpetual unfulfilled electoral promises made by candidates and their political parties before occupying public office.
” We are concerned over the caliber and quality of elected leadership occupying public offices who are pursuing self-service and enrichment, and their interests at the expense of the residents,” he said.
“Accordingly, we expect all political parties to respect our constitutional rights Section 129(k) of the constitution requires an operationalization policy framework. Residents must have the powers to influence a recall, in this case, political parties initiate the recall while citizens endorse the recall through a referendum. The current framework weakens political accountability and renders citizens powerless after voting which has the potential to cause apathy in the next election,” said Khumalo.
Khumalo highlighted that residents are in the process of developing a Residents Manifesto, a document with key minimum expectations and priority issues for consideration by political parties and electoral candidates.
“This will be shared with all political parties and independent candidates. There should be mandatory asset declaration for those who intend to assume elected leadership role to become councillors (local and provincial level) and Members of Parliament and Presidential Candidates, and periodic asset declaration for both elected and non-elected public office holders is a priority, this is supported by Section 198(a) of the constitution,” he added.
Kumalo also urged women, youths, PWDs and marginalised sectors to find space and assume leadership positions for elected leadership at both provincial and local authority level, and the Provincial/Metropolitan Councils.