City Press’ article, Sisulu’s battle for control (December 22 2019), regurgitates talking points of the fightback campaign against Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, suggesting she wants to centralise the communication function in the human settlements, water and sanitation ministry to “fund” a phantom political campaign for the leadership of the governing ANC.
No evidence of this “campaign” has been proffered – no campaign paraphernalia or anything to substantiate the libellous claims. There is no vacancy in the presidency of the ANC, which would explain the need for a “campaign”.
The truth is that two ministries were fused into one superministry. Both departments under Sisulu have communication units.
The article as it appeared in City Press.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to merge the two ministries was also about finding synergies between the two departments, establishing shared services, and doing more work with fewer resources.
It makes business sense to combine the communication units. To centralise the new communication function in the ministry is a no-brainer as the ministry is the link and common denominator between the two departments. To associate this sound decision with “Sisulu’s battle for control” is mischievous, if not disingenuous.
One of the sources of the City Press story is facing numerous charges of maladministration, fraud and corruption relating to tenders. It is the same person who is unhappy that the communication function is being centralised in the ministry.
The common sense solution to centralise communication is being problematised and weaponised against Sisulu. Another solution that gets problematised and weaponised against Sisulu is the fight against malfeasance within the department.
There are investigations that have led to just less than 1 000 cases of misconduct against some officials. Those fighting the malfeasance are being smeared in the media and called names, as part of the fightback campaign by unscrupulous officials.A lot of departmental officials do not have the requisite security clearances.
To correct this, the department has employed a person with a law enforcement background to expedite the applications for security clearances with the State Security Agency.
The majority of employees of the water and sanitation department are honest, hard-working women and men. The ministry will ensure that they have space to do their good work and that they are not overshadowed by the fightback campaign of their corrupt colleagues.
- Mgitywa is the spokesperson for the Department of Human Settlements and Sanitation