The DA's Parliamentary Leader Athol Trollip will be touring the country along with DA MPs and MPLs over the next few months in order to give South Africans their constitutional right back to have their voices heard in Parliament. A range of service delivery sites across all nine provinces will be visited, and this page will document what the DA finds at these places and the people we meet, as well as the action steps taken in Parliament as a result of these findings.
It is evident from the wave of service delivery protests that have erupted in municipalities across the country over the last few months that many South Africans are angry and frustrated with the ANC Government when it comes to the delivery of services.
Citizens are tired of struggles they must face on a daily basis due to them not having access to water and electricity or proper housing and sanitation facilities.
Nearly 15 years after the ANC Government came into power the following backlogs with regard to service delivery still existed at the end of 2007:
- 2.6 million households (20.8%) without access to free basic water;
- 3.5 million households (27.4%) without access to sanitation and 113 085 households still using the bucket system;
- 2.4 million (19.9%) households without access to electricity; and
- 2.7 million households (22%) still living in informal dwellings or backyard structures
However, these figures only pertain to the delivery of basic services and not other essential services that the ANC Government is responsible for providing, such as education, health, civic and security services.
Despite the many undertakings made by the ANC Government, there are still millions of South Africans who do not have birth certificates or ID books, do not have access to proper medical facilities when they are ill, or proper classrooms or learning materials so that they can learn. Furthermore, many South Africans continue to be victims of violent and sexual crimes on a daily basis and our communities live in fear as a result.
The increasing number and violent nature of service delivery protests over the last couple of months reveals that South Africans have had enough of the endless promises made and broken by the ANC Government.
A voice in Parliament
The DA is seriously concerned about the dire circumstances under which the majority of South Africans live and we believe that it is imperative that these citizens are given a means, other than through service delivery protests, to be able to voice their discontent and draw attention to the hardships they face on a daily basis.
The DA believes that one of the key ways in which citizens can be heard is through Parliament, as it is constitutionally obliged to provide a national platform for the public consideration of issues. Every MP who holds a seat in parliament has been put there to represent the needs and interests of the voters who voted for their political party.
However, Parliament has increasingly failed to fulfil this constitutional obligation. There has been a severe lack of debate on issues of public importance and many parliamentary committees have failed to undertake proper oversight visits to communities who are in dire need of basic and essential services. South Africans and their needs have been sidelined as a result.
Taking Parliament to listen to the people
The DA believes that it is imperative that every South African regains the right to be heard and we have therefore launched our Parliament for the People campaign.
As part of the campaign, DA leader Athol Trollip will be touring the country along with a series of DA Shadow Ministers and local and provincial public representatives to listen to the concerns of South Africans in order not only to better understand these concerns and the problems faced by voters, but also to bring these problems back to Parliament so that these issues can be addressed by the very people elected to represent the needs and interests of these voters in the first place.
The Parliament for the People Campaign will be centred on the people and places the DA will be visiting and not on Parliament as an institution, as is the case with the ANC's Bringing Parliament to the People programme.
The DA will listen to the problems of these citizens first hand and will then use the parliamentary mechanisms available to its MPs - including parliamentary questions, motions, calling for debates and membership in parliamentary committees - to ensure that these problems receive attention and solutions to these problems are sought at a national level.
The DA will also conduct follow-up visits to ensure that any recommendations made or resolutions passed by Parliament in order to uplift the living conditions of the people in that area are actually implemented. We are committed to ensuring that our Parliament for the People campaign produces tangible results rather than just outcomes that do not progress further than the paper those outcomes are written on.
Documenting our campaign
The DA's Parliamentary Leader, Athol Trollip, along with the relevant DA Shadow Minister, Deputy Shadow Minister and MPLs will be visiting a range of service delivery sites over the next few months across all nine provinces including:
- Police stations
- Public Schools
- Home Affairs Offices
- Local Municipalities
- State Hospitals and Clinics
- Mine dumping sites
- State Housing projects
- Land Reform projects
- Youth Offices
We will document what we find on our visits on this page by posting photos and videos of the things we see and the people we meet, and we will also provide details of the action steps we will take in Parliament and the outcomes of these steps.
Lastly, we will give continuous updates on any improvements made to the places or lives of the people we visited and provide feedback on our follow-up visits.
The DA's vision of an Open, Opportunity Society for All rests on our belief that every South African deserves to live in dignity and should have access to the services they require in order for them to improve their lives and attain their goals.
We believe that our Parliament for the People Campaign will ensure that Parliament once again becomes an institution that serves the needs of South Africans first and foremost, and is a means by which we can ensure our vision of an Open, Opportunity Society for All becomes a reality.