It's ANC faction deployment, not cadre deployment

2020-01-29 00:02

As South Africans we need to demand change to this policy before greed and corruption completely ruin this country, writes Omry Makgoale

The ANC has never really implemented its so-called cadre deployment policy.

What it has done is to appoint ANC members affiliated to particular slates and factions to certain key positions in government.

It has always been more about loyalty to a particular leader than loyalty to the republic of South Africa.

This cadre deployment has been based on political patronage and has very little to do with patriotism.

Nelson Mandela’s Cabinet of national unity had the apartheid civil servants with accumulated experience from the Union of South Africa in 1910.

The roads used by white people were properly maintained. Water and sanitation infrastructure were adequately maintained.

Electricity was installed and operated successfully in the towns and cities where white people lived.

When Jacob Zuma came into office, corruption became entrenched as he developed close relations with the Gupta family.
Omry Makgoale

The new state and government in 1994 had to cater for everybody – black, coloured, Indian and white people.

The infrastructure had to be expanded to meet the new population demands.

Then white people only made up 25% of the population and infrastructure was supposed to be expanded to cover the extra 75% of the population – a tall order by any standards.

Some ANC members became impatient with deputy president FW de Klerk and his colleagues in the National Party (NP).

He ultimately pulled out of the unity government.

The affirmative action policy was adopted and it was hoped the new ANC members would get on-the-job training so they could gradually replace the white civil servants, but it was not be.

The transition, from the white civil servants trained by the NP to black civil servants recruited by the ANC, was not smooth.

As soon as the NP quit the unity government, some white civil servants resigned, taking early retirement packages and emigrating.

The depletion of the much-needed skills started to affect government departments, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and municipalities.

Lawlessness and corruption set in and grew out of control.

Then under president Thabo Mbeki the arms deal was negotiated, triggering the downward spiral into serious corruption and looting, with disastrous ramifications.

Honest ANC MPs such as Andrew Feinstein and Laloo Chiba were ostracised for demanding accountability on the arms deal and they left Parliament prematurely.

When Jacob Zuma came into office, corruption became entrenched as he developed close relations with the Gupta family.

The Guptas technically captured the ANC as the family started appointing Cabinet ministers, directors-general, the directors of SOEs, municipal managers and law enforcement agency heads.

Former president Jacob Zuma

It could be said that ANC leaders in Mandela’s Cabinet were cadres, although we know that even then the governing party was highly infiltrated.

However, that Cabinet had a modicum of integrity; civil servants were still doing their work.

Under Zuma chaos ensued, with raw sewage flowing into rivers such as the Vaal in the Emfuleni Local Municipality.

Eskom, Transnet, Prasa, Denel, the SA Revenue Service and the SABC were looted by firms such as Trillian, SAP and Baine, with KPMG auditors covering up.

The Guptas did the deployments.

This was not cadre deployment. Neither Zuma, the Guptas nor their corrupt deployees should be classified as ANC cadres.

These were just crooks who used their ANC membership for their own corrupt ends.

The country is now teetering on the brink of collapse and might be downgraded by Moody’s Investors Service in March.

Load shedding has led to the departure of mining companies as smelters can no longer guarantee 24-hour production.

Unemployment stands at 27%, which can only get worse. The people in charge of this mess are ANC members but not cadres.

As many of us learnt in exile, a cadre is a skilled person with integrity who strives to implement policies of the ANC.

Cadres are not thieves and crooks. There is no ANC policy that says members will steal or loot.

ANC members are drawn from a wide spectrum – from decent priests and bishops to outright scoundrels.

We have communists of integrity as well as deceitful bureaucratic bourgeoisie in the SACP – all in the ANC.

Cyril Ramaphosa
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the party's 108 anniversary celebration in Kimberley. Picture: Supplied/ANC via Twitter

In my mind, the ANC has never implemented a true cadre deployment policy.

Those responsible have deployed ANC members in line with the slates and factions of those in charge at Luthuli House.

This culture has been a disaster.

It needs to be radically changed. It’s time we as South Africans demanded change.

Civil servants should be appointed for their skills and competence just as President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

  • Makgoale is a rank and file member of the ANC

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February 23 2020