Public Protector addresses APRM Monitoring Project report launch
The initiative by civil society to monitor and gauge the implementation of government’s programme of action in relation to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) should not be seen as an irritating and shaming exercise, says Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela.
Addressing the launch of a report on civil society’s views and opinions about government’s levels of commitment with regard to the implementation of its APRM programme of action in Midrand on Tuesday, the Public Protector said the process should rather be seen as an opportunity to identify weaknesses and confirm progress.
While noting progress made on areas such as rule of law, justice system, the electoral system, skills development and service delivery; the report also highlights problems around corruption, party-state relations, xenophobia, poverty and unemployment, among other things.
The Public Protector called on government to take the report seriously, adding that it was critical for the state to listen and be responsive when citizens aired their views as this assisted government to plan better in order to respond to the needs and concerns of the people.
“It is common cause that the views expressed (in the report) do not reflect the voices of all people in this country but they are views of an important and informed section of our society. We also need not agree with all the findings but see them as perceptions that need to be addressed through dialogue,” the Public Protector said.
She noted that the report painted a picture of a constitutional democracy that was on track while providing the country with a number of “signposts we need to pay attention to on our road to an accountable state that operates with integrity at all times while being responsive to the needs of its entire people.”
The Public Protector also paid tribute to the late former Minister of Water Affairs and Education Prof Kader Asmal, who passed away last week after suffering a heart attack, saying South Africa’s democracy had become poorer without a person of Prof Asmal’s calibre.
“A champion of human rights, good governance and rule of law, Prof Asmal will be remembered for his stewardship of a Parliamentary Review Commission that sought to affirm the role of institutions established by the Constitution to strengthen and support constitutional democracy such as the Public Protector,” she said.
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