No more jobs for allies, Zille tells Zuma

President Jacob Zuma has failed to explain how he intends to transform the public service, but should start by appointing the right people instead of political allies, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille said on Friday.

“I have learned that appointing the right people in the right positions is the most important determinant of good governance and service delivery.

“Paying political debts through ‘cadre redeployment’ to top positions, is the surest way of undermining good governance,” she said in her weekly newsletter.

Zille accused the African National Congress (ANC) of handing out positions to reward a “cabal” within the party.

“Loyal ANC cadres control all state institutions and serve the interests of a party faction rather than all the people. The inevitable result of this downward spiral into centralisation, cronyism and corruption is that state institutions are incapacitated, the state is criminalised, opportunities are cannibalised, and service delivery shuts down.”

She also called on Zuma to explain how he intends to fight corruption in the public service, as he promised in his maiden state of the nation address on Wednesday.

Pledges by the ANC to fight graft rang hollow after the party named four members of Parliament implicated in the Travelgate scandal to chair Parliamentary portfolio committees, she added.

“The ruling party appears to promote the corrupt ... the ANC deemed it fit to reward them with senior leadership positions in the same institution they defrauded.”

Zille said those interventions that Zuma did outline clearly in his speech—greater cohesion and more central planning in the public service—were worrying because it would hamper service delivery.

“His promise to ‘speed up the establishment of a single public service’ is worrying.

“The creation of a single public service is likely to reduce the provincial and local spheres of government to mere administrative arms of central government, which would be unconstitutional.”

The DA wrested control of the Western Cape from the ANC in the April elections and claims an amendment Bill giving the national government more power in provinces is a bid to undermine its policies and performance.—Sapa

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