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State job ads are just window dressing
TLU SA has for years highlighted the connection between South Africa’s descent into possible candidacy for “failed statehood”, and the deployment of cadre appointees to government jobs, without regard to their suitability for the post. This cause and effect state of affairs has become the subject of a vigorous public debate as the citizenry now realises that this link is the real cause of the collapse of South Africa’s infrastructure. Some have naively asked why president Cyril Ramaphosa hasn’t done anything about it.
The president’s recent appearance before the Zondo Commission on state capture has laid bare why the president won’t lift a finger to do away with cadre deployment: the survival of himself as president and the survival of the ANC as the ruling party is more important to him than saving South Africa from its regression into third world status. In addition, his testimony before Judge Zondo into the state capture of South Africa revealed that he chaired the cadre employment committee from 2012 to 2017. In other words, the president himself oversaw who would get jobs and who wouldn’t despite the fancy ads for these posts that appeared in the country’s media. These were simply window dressing a police officer told TLU SA when questioned as to why so many police officers were woefully under-qualified for their posts. This practice of cadre deployment has affected every sector of South Africa’s state workforce, which includes of course the cabinet.
Thus the chicanery and dishonesty behind the appearance of state, provincial and municipal employment press advertisements is part and parcel of a game being played by the president to regularly publicly state that he wants to improve the quality and competence of state employees. In May 2019, the president told coloured voters in Mitchells Plain that it was “wrong” that work seekers should have to place a tick against a “race” box on state job application forms and that this practice “belongs in the past”. In December 2020 it was reported that the ANC had made an election promise that unqualified appointments to local government should be from now on “taboo”. On 4 December 2020 during a SALGA conference, the president expressed his concern about the poor state of municipal management. There were many statements of this ilk issued between these two dates.
In June 2021, the president said that cadre deployment “no longer has a place in the ANC”. The Auditor General’s current report said only 27 of the country’s 283 municipalities produced a clean audit. The total amount involved in “unauthorised spending” for this sector of the SA economy amounted to R26.09 billion!
Giving evidence before the Zondo Commission, minister of mineral and energy affairs Gwede Mantashe said the ANC created its cadre deployment policy “to make sure that the civil service would not harbour rebels against the ruling party”. During his reign, former president Thabo Mbeki also defended the policy, saying if whites were left within the civil service, “they might sabotage us”. (It is interesting to note now who is sabotaging whom in South Africa!)
The president speaks with forked tongue and at the same time, his deceit with regard to cadre deployment adds to the decline of South Africa as a functioning entity. His government continues to deploy political appointees to state jobs, whatever he says. Press advertisements unambiguously reflect this policy. The advertisements are in fact fraudulent. In all cases, without exception, these positions bear the caveat that the employer – the state – is an “equal opportunity affirmative action employer” which means, in effect, that whites are wasting their time to apply. It would seem that any black who feels he has the qualifications to apply need also not do so if he’s not a political friend of the ANC. This charade and Ramaphosa’s role in it was confirmed recently during his appearance before the Zondo Commission into state capture.
Persons in the SA Police Service have told TLU SA that even if a white person does apply to an advertisement for which he is qualified, and there is space for a white in the proportional racial division applicable to the post, he will get the job but he will not get promotion. Which white would then apply if he knows he will sit at a lower rank for years because of the colour of his skin, whatever merit there is in his qualifications?
RAMAPHOSA CHAIRS DEPLOYMENT COMMITTEE.
During his recent appearance before the Zondo Committee on state capture, President Ramaphosa admitted he chaired the deployment committee from 2012 to 2017 when he was deputy president. The official opposition asked the commission as to the whereabouts of the minutes of these committee meetings, but the president that declared minutes were not taken. This was not true. Evidence leader Paul Pretorius produced copies which were irrefutable proof that Ramaphosa was directing who would get which jobs, the criteria being, it is clear, the person’s suitability as a political loyalist.
Even more alarming was the official opposition’s assertion that Ramaphosa’s cadre deployment of political friends and supporters paved the way for the Gupta brothers and their families to plunder South Africa’s state coffers of billions of rands. The opposition said that this capture would not have been possible had it not been for the corrupt and pliable ANC loyalists in important jobs, placed there by the deployment committee chaired by none other than SA’s president!
The president ducked and dived before Judge Zondo and was reluctant to take responsibility for cadre deployment. Ramaphosa openly asked Chairman Zondo not to pass judgement on this practice!
Referring to president Ramaphosa’s appearance before the Commission, Peter Bruce, Sunday Times columnist (22.8.21) declared: “Evidence leader Paul Pretorius had extracted from Ramaphosa an admission that the ANC’s “deployment committee” had even discussed who should be appointed as judges in our top courts. Yes, Ramaphosa seemed to say, that may be true but we don’t do the actual appointing. This is nonsense”, said Bruce. “The Judicial Services Commission has three ANC MP’s sitting on it and they would be told what the party wanted. Pretorius seemed to suggest that Zondo, in his final report, WOULD MAKE A FINDING ON WHETHER OR NOT CADRE DEPLOYMENT IS IN BREACH OF THE CONSTITUTION.”
As to the president’s plea to Chairman Zondo “not to pass judgement on this practice”, columnist Bruce said that “this feels like borderline treachery. So many actors in state capture and the theft of between R50 bn and R100 bn involved WOULD HAVE BEEN FIRST APPROVED BY THE RULING PARTY’S DEPLOYMENT COMMITTEE WHICH RAMAPHOSA CHAIRED HIMSELF AS DEPUTY PRESIDENT FROM 2012 TO 2017”.
Bruce says Zondo should ignore Ramaphosa’s plea not to make findings against cadre deployment. It is imperative that the judge comes down with the utmost severity on the deployment committee and the very notion that the ANC should be “the centre of power”. “Defenders of this iniquity could say that some democracies try to get their people into top jobs and into judicial positions” declared Bruce. “But cadre deployment is different. It is a deceit packaged for the SA public as redress, justice or transformation. It is none of those. It is a theft of our democracy”.
THE MBEKI LEGACY
Bruce referred to Brian Pottinger’s book “The Mbeki Legacy” on cadre deployment. Pottinger said “It became an open-ended numbers-driven scramble for position and patronage in both public and private life. It developed a momentum that was divorced from economic reality”. Pottinger referred to “the absence of the skills requirements of a growing economy” when this policy of cadre deployment was introduced.
Concludes Bruce: “We all know where deployment has landed us. Drive through any small to medium-sized town run by the ANC in this country and most will be run down and filthy, broken and potholed. Useless comrades doing complicated jobs.”
Judge Zondo has no choice. “He must call out cadre deployment for what it is – unconstitutional and deceitful and a practice that should immediately stop, Public deployment discussed by the deployment committee should be reversed or BE CHALLENGED IN COURT,” concluded Bruce.
THERE IS BLAME HERE
Ambiguity has no place in this blame game. Cyril Ramaphosa sat through seven or eight parliamentary Motions of No Confidence in the then president Jacob Zuma, the master of state capture. Ramaphosa said nothing. (His excuse has been that he would remain silent until he moved into the top position then he could reform “from within”.) But nothing has been reformed. SA now has the highest unemployment rate in the world. Our security services are crippled and inefficient. They are unable to protect the population. Our structures are being dismembered and nothing is done. Those who maintain food security – SA’s commercial farmers – are murdered and attacked with regularity. We used to be a proud country where poor people could receive medical care at low cost. Our hospitals were clean and functioning. Our roads were the envy of many. We had an excellent railway network. Our parastatals were profitable and the envy of the world. We had the world’s cheapest and most efficient electricity supply.
But Black Economic Empowerment (BEE), or cadre deployment, changed the rules of the game. Says Dr.Anthony Turton, a water strategist, environmental activist and founding member of SA Water Chamber: “BEE has de-industrialised a country that once produced 40% of all the gold ever mined in all of recorded history, from the Incas to modernity. We are the country that pioneered the production of oil from coal; the country that pioneered the world’s first heart transplant and gave us the first base-bleed artillery capable of firing a tactical nuclear weapon. This country pioneered water treatment technologies that recovered safe drinking water from sewage. It produced sophisticated steels used in highly specialised engineering processes. The list goes on.
“South Africa punched well above its weight and was a genuine participant in the global economy. We produced things of value. Sophisticated things. Technologically advanced things.
“Then came BEE, It changed the rules of the game by skewing the playing field of those whose only attribute was that they were politically connected. It actively discriminated against anyone who was creative and nimble in the fields of science, engineering and technology. It discriminated against excellence and rewarded those who sole attribute was their ability to extract money without creating value. It is inherently parasitic. An organism infested with parasites slowly succumbs to their voracious presence and eventually that organism becomes so sick that it dies a miserable death. We have become a society that rewards and protects thieves, greedy thieves with an insatiable lust for money and an aversion to honest work and creativity.” (January 2020)
Let us take up the cudgels to remove those who do not have an honest bone in their body, whose deceit and iniquity have come to light during various commission of enquiry of late. Our courts should be able to expose the venality and remove the perpetrators from the body politic. We can do this and we must. We owe it to those who came before and our future citizens.
Source: TLU SA International Bulletin | ROUND PEGS IN SQUARE HOLES