Opinion

Politicians should be made to use services they inflict on us

07 February 2021 - 00:00

For a while, I deemed the idea too draconian, punitive and a potential violation of their freedom of choice. But now, finally, I’m persuaded — those who run the state and make policy on behalf of all of us must be compelled to use public, as opposed to private, facilities. 

I have been mulling over this: if Shonisani Lethole had been a government minister or some other bigwig, would he have received the appalling treatment he got at Tembisa Hospital? Put differently, if the politically powerful and our bureaucrats used hospitals like Tembisa, would the institutions be allowed to fall into decay and provide the inferior service they often do? The service delivery crisis in our public sector is as old as our democracy itself, and it shows every sign of worsening. Look at Esidimeni, the personal protective equipment scandal, and now the Lethole episode...

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