Social & Community News
08 July 2024

South Africa’s 2024 elections have ushered in a new era in the country’s political landscape. For the first time since 1994, no single party has secured an outright majority in the National Assembly. The African National Congress (ANC), which has been the ruling party for the past three decades, won only 159 of the 400 seats. In light of these election results, the formation of a coalition government brings both challenges and opportunities. We reached out to community members to hear their thoughts on the key issues and changes they hope this new coalition will address in our community.

Accountability and transparency
[letter to the editor] 


Dear Editor,

I have a fervent hope that our Government of National Unity would bring about accountability and transparency. Too often, when TV presenters question police or organisations about dubious transactions or actions, the response is a dismissive “We cannot comment on ongoing investigations” or “We cannot comment while there are legal proceedings.” 

This is unacceptable. Hiding behind these phrases is a way to avoid scrutiny, allowing these so-called investigations to drag on until the public forgets. This lack of accountability is deplorable.

Moreover, the endless nature of court cases and police investigations worsens the issue. Cases are covered by ‘red tape’ with no real progress, leaving families and the public without answers. Feedback is scarce, and the refrain “We cannot comment on ongoing investigations” is repeated without an end. This undermines public trust and violates the principles of Batho Pele. Judges should not permit criminal or other cases to drag on indefinitely. Taxpayers often bear the cost of these prolonged legal battles, which seem more like a performance than a pursuit of justice. Commissions occasionally levy substantial fines on organisations. Yet, the public rarely hears about what happens to the money collected. Where does it go? Who is accountable?

The example set by government leaders and employees trickles down to the general public. When leaders evade accountability, it sends the message that such behaviour is acceptable. This erodes societal norms and ethics, leading to a broader breakdown of trust and responsibility within our society.

Yours faithfully,

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