Democracy offices just waste of money: ANC
The ANC caucus has again called for parliament's democracy offices to be shut down, labelling them a waste of money.
Following a meeting of senior ANC public representatives in North West last week, caucus spokesman Moloto Mothapo said yesterday that as far the party was concerned, the offices were a duplication.
It has been reported that parliament spent R9-million to establish the offices in Limpopo and North West.
An additional R2.5-million a year had been set aside to cover operational costs.
The purpose of the offices - of which there are three in Limpopo, the North West and the Northern Cape - is to support and improve the interaction between parliament and the community.
However, parliament has since instituted a review into their efficiency and has frozen the establishment of new offices.
The ANC caucus has argued that only elected political party officials, MPs, should deal directly with constituents and not parliamentary officials unaligned to any party.
"The resources they are channelling should be used to boost or enhance the work of the parliamentary constituency offices.
"MPs are the elected representatives of the people; they are supposed to be the link between parliament and the community," said Mothapo.
Parliament is allocating money to fund the offices and to each political party for the purposes of running their provincial offices.
Last night, parliamentary sources said that a review of the offices was under way.
Despite the claims of duplication, the ANC caucus has admitted to failings in the effectiveness of their own constituency offices.
"Communication is one aspect in which we are saying we might be failing," said Mothapo.
Last week, after an inter-parliamentary caucus in North West, party representatives said the Marikana disaster highlighted the need for constituency officials at all levels of government to have a finger "firmly on the pulse" of developments in the community.