Our elec­toral sys­tem needs re­view­ing

The Witness - - OPINION - DUN­CAN DU BOIS Bluff

AS it stands, all cit­i­zens over the age of 18 years have the vote in de­ter­min­ing who holds power in South Africa.

Thus, the vote of an un­em­ployed per­son, who pays no tax and is a ben­e­fi­ciary of state wel­fare, has the same value as a per­son whose taxes the gov­ern­ment de­pends upon to fund wel­fare and to run the coun­try.

In South Africa, a mi­nor­ity of tax­pay­ers, fewer than 10 mil­lion, funds a grow­ing ma­jor­ity of non-tax­pay­ers — more than 17 mil­lion. Ob­vi­ously such a sit­u­a­tion is not sus­tain­able in the long term. None­the­less, that vast num­ber of wel­fare-de­pen­dent vot­ers is ex­ploited by com­mu­nists and so­cial­ists in the ANC to re­main in power. The growth in un­em­ploy­ment from three mil­lion in 1994 to over nine mil­lion is proof of the fail­ure of so­cial­ism to al­le­vi­ate poverty.

Thus, we need an elec­toral sys­tem which will pro­mote bet­ter gov­er­nance by strength­en­ing the role of stake­hold­ers in the econ­omy of the coun­try.

In such a sys­tem ev­ery­one would have a sin­gle vote ir­re­spec­tive of their sta­tus. Ad­di­tional votes would ac­crue to tax­pay­ers based on the ex­tent of their con­tri­bu­tion to the SA Rev­enue Ser­vice.

That would pro­mote trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity in rev­enue col­lec­tion and en­sure that those with ac­tual stakes in the econ­omy had a greater and fairer mea­sure of in­flu­ence in pol­icy mak­ing.

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