10 signatures reached
To: President Ramaphosa, COGTA Minister Mkhize, Mr Mashatile, MPs and Political Party Chief whips.
Tell our political parties, if they want our vote, we the people must be able to fire them
To ensure the people truly govern by giving us the power to recall councillors, we call on the Executive, Parliament, COGTA and political parties to make a public commitment before the 2019 general election, that before the 2021 local government election, legislation will be amended to give citizens the ability to recall ward councilors. Specifically, you must pass an amendment to the Municipal Structures Act that inserts, between the current Sections 24 (term of council) and 25 (By-elections), provisions to:
(i) initiate a recall campaign, by signatures on a petition equal to 10% of the votes cast in the last election in that constituency
(ii) conduct the recall vote itself, with the only question on the ballot being “should this councillor remain in office or not?”
(iii) that a positive vote results in a by-election, governed as with other by-elections in existing section 25 (making reference to it), except that the councillor last recalled may not stand (but their party may nominate)
Why is this important?
Right now, political parties are fighting for votes in 2019, the same parties who will fight for our votes in 2021’s local government election. Year on year we experience service delivery issues and a lack of change, even though all political parties promise this is a priority. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we could change the law so that we the people could fire our ward councillors, our leaders would be more accountable. If enough of us come together, we could use the 2019 general election to make this an election issue all political parties want to commit to. We could force political parties to commit to changing the law before 2021’s local government election.
No matter who you vote for, or whether you vote, if we send a clear message to our political parties that we won’t vote for anyone who won’t commit to letting us fire them before their 5 years are up.
Democracy is more than just elections, it’s about holding our leaders to account every day. Together let’s send a message that we won’t vote for a party unless they commit to letting us vote them out.