Former president Jacob Zuma’s late night Cabinet reshuffles have come back to haunt government with president Cyril Ramaphosa saying that “frequent reshuffles” have caused instability.
Addressing the National Assembly on Wednesday afternoon Ramaphosa said that government had slid into a pattern of operating in silos.
He pointed to a number of blunders made by the previous administration led by Zuma which had left government in a sad state of affairs.
“Frequent reshuffles of ministers and a high turnover of senior managers at both national and provincial government has led to instability, misalignment and confusion,” Ramaphosa said.
The president referred to the standoff between former minister of tourism, Derek Hanekom, and former minister of home affairs, Malusi Gigaba, over a change in visa regulations.
“One example of what can go wrong when departments work in silos was the implementation of visa regulations that had unintended consequences on tourism. It also had the unintended consequence of stunting our ability to attract highly-skilled individuals and investors whilst the borders remained porous which (meant) lowly-skilled and poor people came into the country in numbers.”
Ramaphosa also referred to a commitment he made at the onset of his term wherein he promised to hold his executive to account using performance assessments.
“As I have said in the state of the nation address, I will be signing performance agreements with ministers and deputy ministers – who will be delegated clear and meaningful programmes to lead. We expect to finalise these performance agreements by the first week of September when the Medium Term Strategic Framework – with clear deliverables for each department – is approved by Cabinet.”
Repeating his anti-corruption refrain, Ramaphosa sent another warning to those engaging in illegal practices.
“To those who use the public service and our state-owned enterprises to line their pockets, we say goodbye to you; our law-enforcement authorities will accompany you to the dock. This is a presidency that is not afraid to act,” Ramaphosa said as opposition members heckled “when?” in response to the statement.
The president will be back in the house on Thursday to respond to the debate which followed his address.