Get To Know Adrian Christopher Roos

4 Apr 2022 (3 months ago)

1.How did you come to join your political party and become an MP?

I had been involved in charity work in my spare time for many years and decided to enter politics after successfully lobbying to prevent the unfair closure of centres for disabled children in Gauteng. The DA is the only party that truly represents all South Africans and has a full suite of workable policies that can turn South Africa around and was the obvious choice.

2. What is one goal that you would like to achieve during your time as an MP?

A drastic reduction in queues outside Home Affairs offices.

3. What does your job as an MP entail, and what do you find challenging/demanding?

On the Home Affairs portfolio, the backlogs and dysfunctional Home Affairs call centre means answering volumes of email and messaging enquiries is a daily part of life.

Although it is an excellent barometer of what challenges are most pressing, the expectation to answer immediately and actively drive each case is challenging to keep up with. At any one time several hundred cases are on escalation and it is not possible to actively follow up each case on a daily basis.

Weekly Committee meetings require reading of reports, investigations and meetings with stakeholders and keeping abreast of court orders that affect your portfolio.

This leads into ongoing work on policy positions in areas such as migration and electoral reform and on legislation to put this policy in to action.

In addition there are typically three plenary meetings a week where parliament meets to debate issues of national importance and pose oral questions to hold the executive to account.

There are also regular party meetings to attend and ground work in the constituency.

The collapse of government services in Gauteng, and the culture not officials not answering official contact numbers, means that constituents reach out to you on a variety of issues as they cannot raise the issues through the relevant departmental channels.

Constituency work also includes working with DA councillors to ensure that council issues are resolved and that broad issues receive attention at provincial and national level.

4.Which constituency office have you been assigned to? Can you give examples of constituency work you engage in?

Taemane Constituency in Tshwane, which stretches east from the Moloto Road across through Roodeplaat, Reliwe and Cullinan to Ekangala in the east of Tshwane and north up to the borders of Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces incorporating the Dinokeng Nature Reserve.

Constituency work includes national issues, for example water hyacinth of the Roodeplaat Dam that risk to the World Masters Regatta in 2023 and provincial issues such as the Ekandustria Industrial Park where Premier Makhura has failed to keep his promise that the park be transferred to Tshwane so that Tshwane can invest and create jobs, the Phumekhaya informal settlement which requires Gauteng Province to do its job. Issues involving entities include the bulk water supply problems of Magalies Water that affects water supply to Cullinan.

5. How do you think Parliament can drive more public participation in policy, legislation and voting?

The lack of official constituency boundaries is a gap that could be addressed with a formal constituency-based electoral system in place. Ideally there should be at least one constituency meeting a year where community members can engage with MPs on their greatest issues and receive feedback on what action has been taken on issues previously reported.

6. What are you passionate about, both professionally and personally?

The Injustice of the shocking treatment of people by government departments who are focused on stealing money from these same people. One of the greatest injustices of apartheid was the stripping of peoples’ Human dignity.

People Stand in a queue at Home Affairs all day as if their time is worthless.

On a Personal level I am passionate about my family and running, not only to keep fit but as a way to practise mindfulness amongst the buzz of day to day life.

7. Which social justice issues are you most concerned with?

Lack of jobs, especially for our youth. Every area of public policy should be pulling together to create an environment for economic growth and jobs.

8. Does Parliament do a good job of holding the Executive to account? If not, what can be done to improve this?

Unfortunately only a portion of MPs are carrying the slack of the majority of MPs. DA MPs are particularly hard working and not only point out problems but present well considered alternatives. The more of these MPs we have, the more things will improve.

9. What are your or your party's aspirations/plans for the remainder of the Sixth Parliament?

Economic Growth and Jobs. This starts with tackling corruption and cadre deployment to ensure that taxpayer money is spent on services, and then policies that ensure that this spending is most effective in creating an open opportunity society for all and not just a connected few.

10. What obstacles prevent Parliament from doing its work and how would you fix it?

Ministers failing to appear in oral questions sessions and not answering written questions in the allocated time. Parliamentary questions provide an opportunity for MPs to raise questions brought to them by citizens as well as their own experience. By picking and choosing which questions to answer the concerns of citizens can be suppressed. A solution would be to fine ministers who don’t attend oral questions sessions or miss written questions deadlines.

The method of question and answer in committee meetings is also problematic. MPs ask questions in a round and then ministers and officials answer. There may then be two such rounds. Inquisitorial questioning will allow MPs to interrogate issues in more depth though a series of question and answers with a given minister or official.

View Mr Roos' profile here.


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