Mervyn Alexander Dirks (ANC)

29 Oct 2019 (2 years, 8 months ago)

"Don't lose hope. South Africa is a Great country and things will improve for the better."

What is your political background? How did you come to join your political party and become an MP?

My political awareness dates back to the late '70s growing up in the then Transkei. As a boy of 14 years old having to get a passport to cross the Mzimkhulu river to attend school. However, my political activism started in the early '80s when we heeded the call from Lusaka by Oliver Tambo that we should boycott the tri-cameral Parliament system and make apartheid ungovernable. I became an activist and mobilized minorities to boycott the tricameral elections. I spearheaded the Happy Valley rent boycotts against the racist apartheid local councils and its hated race-based local authorities.

What does your job as an MP entail? What do you enjoy about being an MP?

I am the Whip of SCOPA. Basically SCOPA is not like any other Portfolio Committee of parliament. I think the best way to describe SCOPA is a 'Watchdog' of government finances. My mission is to ensure that there is consequence management for the misuse of public funds

What are your or your party's aspirations/plans for the Sixth Parliament?

My aspirations for the Sixth Parliament are that as the governing party, we implement the ANC's NASREC Conference resolution; namely expropriation of land without compensation and radical economic transformation, which is to restructure the economy in favour of the majority.

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

I don't think that there is really an obstacle that prevents us from doing our work but I believe that MPs should spend less time in Parliament and more time in communities to ensure that these excellent policies of government are implemented, and to ensure that we give people good services. For example, we need to be there at the hospitals and home affairs to monitor and experience what our people go through on a daily basis instead of sitting in Parliament having useless debates, insulting each other, which has no improvement in people's lives.

Which Constituency Office have you been assigned to? Can you give examples of Constituency work you engaged in?

Northdale Constituency Office, Pietermaritzburg. My office deals with all bread and butter issues.

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

Yes, we definitely hold the Executive to account without fear or favour. Furthermore, the Executive is on a performance contract with the President.

Are you happy with the proportional representation system or are you in favor of electoral reform?

I am not a supporter of a constitutional democracy parliamentary system. I support a parliamentary system of government.

What can be done to get citizens more interested/ involved in Parliament? Is this an area where Parliament can improve and if so, what recommendations do you have? What are you passionate about? This applies both in political/ professional arena as well as personally?

I think that South Africans are generally very interested in what is going on in Parliament. All kinds of social media is abuzz about politics and what we are doing in Parliament. My passion is SPORTS

What is your message to South Africa?

Don't lose hope. South Africa is a great country and things will improve for the better.

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