South Africa: What Have You Done for Me Lately? Tracking SA MPs and How Hard They Work (Or Not)

The People’s Assembly website, which hopes to promote accountability between ordinary citizens and elected representatives, has just released a nifty little data cruncher monitoring the attendance of members of parliament at committee meetings where much of the real work gets done. While it shows that Winnie Madikizela Mandela is still MIA, the data holds a few surprises. By MARIANNE THAMM.

The first session this year of the Fifth Parliament of South Africa kicked off on 26 January and will come to a close after eight weeks on 18 March. From 16 February to 23 March, this year, there are around 76 committee meetings scheduled for the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces. But how well has your MP performed so far and in the past?

This week the People’s Assembly project – funded by the Indigo Trust, and which relies on Parliamentary Monitoring Group’s reports on committee work – released a handy data crunching feature that tracks the attendance of MPs at committee meetings. (Disclosure: Daily Maverick is a recipient of an Indigo Trust grant.)

Observers have commented over the years on the declining quality of parliament’s work, but there may be a myriad of reasons why a particular…


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