Former ANC member and MP Dr Makhosi Khoza will not be forming her own political party or joining the opposition. But her future work is likely to thrust her in the middle of parliamentary work with politicians again.
Speaking to The Star, Khoza said she would be announcing an initiative that would bridge the gap between parliament and civil society towards the end of the month.
Khoza said the new formation would ensure grassroots voters have a voice in parliament, saying she was keen to work with civil society organisations to bridge the gap between parliament and communities by creating dialogue.
She reportedly said she had consulted civil society organisations that have approached her to assist with the work.
She said political parties needed to reserve between 30% and 50% of their seats for civil society organisations that could, through the party, remove people if they were not doing the jobs they were being paid to do.
“This would be done within the proportional representation system that we have in South Africa, even though proportional representation does not allow for civil society to be directly represented. Through that system, they would be able to feed the information, and in the case of a bill, for example, you consult with civil society,” Khoza is reported as having said.
Khoza took issue with elected party political representatives who, upon taking their parliamentary seats, disregard their mandate.
“We need to create a new mandating process, and I am busy with that now. I might not form a political party, but I might work with those which are established. But we would have to change the way people are represented.
“Right now everybody in the country is concerned about corruption, and it’s going to be important that people feel that they have their own representative responsible [for their interests], even though that person may come in through a political party,” Khoza is quoted as saying.
For this to be achieved, Khoza suggested signing an agreement with civil society for a representative to be sent to parliament at the behest of civil society organisations, and not a political party. She said a new political game-changer was necessary, as “South Africans are tired of new political parties”.
“You need to be different from what has happened previously, obviously learning from the mistakes. In the space of the next two or three weeks, we will reveal how it will work,” Khosa said, and proceeded to express continued concerns for her own safety. “But I am not naive, I know that my safety probably remains at risk.”