Civil society organisations demand accountability from MPs

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Grahamstown-based Public Service Accountability Monitor is among 37 civil society organisations, led by the Parliament Watch alliance, who have called on MPs as elected representatives to be accountable to the people of South Africa. In a statement this week, they have also called on MPs to vote in accordance with their role to represent public views, irrespective of political party affiliation, in the Motion of No Confidence tabled against President Jacob Zuma scheduled to take place on 8 August 2017.

According to Parliament Watch, the Motion of No Confidence is an opportunity for MPs to restore the public trust in them, in Parliament and in the government.

“Parliament Watch encourages members of the public to communicate with MPs to express their views and voice the public’s lack of confidence in the President in the Vote of No Confidence,” the organisation said.

An online platform had been created at representme.co.za for this purpose.

Parliament Watch is a coalition of civil society, activists and interested stakeholders who engage on a range of strategies to advocate for the Speaker and members of Parliament to fulfil their mandates, “without compromise, in the interest of the country at large”.

“South Africa’s Parliament has frequently failed to live up to the constitutional obligations – to represent the public – and has repeatedly shown a weakness in holding the President and his Cabinet to account,” the group said. “Accountability is the foundation of a representative government. It provides a check on the leadership, ensuring that promises made during election campaigns and through policy priorities are achieved.”

The following organisations signed to open letter to MPs

Parliament Watch: 1 Dullah Omar Institute; 2 Equal Education Law Centre; 3 Public Service Accountability Monitor; 4 Right 2 Know Campaign; 5 Social Justice Coalition; 6 Women on Farms Project

And

7 Active Citizens Alliance Cape Town; 8 Alternative Information & Development Centre; 9 Children’s Radio Foundation; 10 Community Development Resource Association; 11 Community Media Trust; 12 Corruption Watch; 13 Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution; 14 EarthLore Foundation; 15 International Budget Partnership – South Africa; 16 Isandla Institute; 17 Justice and Women; 18 Lawyers for Human Rights; 19 Lifeline Vaal Triangle; 20 Ndifuna Ukwazi; 21 NM & Associates Planners and Designers 22 Open Secrets; 23 Quaker Peace Centre; 24 Rural Health Advocacy Project; 25 Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children; 26 Save our Wilderness; 27 SaveSA; 28 Section 27; 29 Sonke Gender Justice; 30 South Africa First Forum; 31 Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Programme; 32 Triangle Project; 33 Trust for Community Outreach and Education; 34 Umtata Child Abuse Resource Centre; 35 #UniteBehind; 36 Western Cape Forum for Intellectual Disability; 37 Women’s Legal Centre.

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